McEnaney vows to crack down on high fouls

Inter-county hurlers have been warned referees won’t tolerate dangerous play around an opponent’s head or interference with their helmet from next year.

National referees’ committee chairman Pat McEnaney said his officials have been instructed to issue red cards to any player who commits such fouls.

“Hurling is a fantastic game. Before May [when he was appointed], my knowledge of hurling would have been limited but I’ve learned a lot since then and our players have to be protected.

“There is a lot of video evidence to suggest there are too many fouls happening around players’ heads like wild pulling and interfering and tapping.

“Just because all players now wear helmets doesn’t make it right. Anything done in or around the head is a red card offence and that’s something we will be concentrating on in the new year.”

McEnaney reiterated his remarks last month that referees have to get tougher in enforcing the rules of the game after revealing there should have been eight more red cards than the two that were shown in the 2012 championship.

“We started the year well in hurling but then had a couple of poor games when players who should have been sent off remained on the field.

“The year finished with Barry Kelly outstanding in the All-Ireland final in the first game and James McGrath having a very good game in the replay.

“But we have to get better at enforcing what are red card offences. There were too many instances for my liking of fellas not being punished appropriately for what they did.”


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