Penalties for diving won’t be upgraded for 2016 GAA season

Diving will not be upgraded to a black or red card this year, as the GAA’s playing rules committee requires more time to study the area.

It had been expected in the wake of Tiernan McCann’s case last summer that simulation would no longer be a yellow card offence. 

The Tyrone player successfully contested an unprecedented eight-week ban handed down to him by the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) who found he had discredited the GAA in exaggerating an interaction with Darren Hughes for which the Monaghan man was sent off. 

However, GAA director of games development Pat Daly, a member of the playing rules committee, confirmed there will be no motion on the matter at next month’s Congress in Carlow.

“We looked at doing something about it but there are three degrees of simulation,” stated Daly. 

“There’s a player diving for a free, the player who dives for a penalty and the player who attempts to dupe the referee by implying he was hit illegally so as to get an opponent carded or sent off.

“Dealing with all three on a uniform basis would be difficult. You can’t just say it’s a red card across the board.

“You’re not going to get a consistent application of the rule there. 

“The playing rules committee looked at the issue but in the time available to us it was impossible to come up with a proposal that would incorporate all three scenarios because there are significant degrees of difference between each of them.”

It was felt at the time of the CCCC’s recommended suspension for McCann that they were sending out a message. However, punishment for feigning will remain a yellow card for the 2016 season. 

The Jarlath Burns-led group, which along with Daly includes Cork secretary Frank Murphy, former Kerry star Darragh Ó Sé and former Meath manager Sean Boylan, will continue to monitor games and may return with a recommendation to Central Council at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Tyrone were involved in a controversial McKenna Cup game on Sunday when Derry manager Damian Barton questioned why they weren’t punished for giving away two penalties. 

On a day when Tyrone’s Justin McMahon picked up a black card for the rare infringement of dissent, Barton saw his forward Emmet McGuckin sent off for a second yellow card early in the second half after Tyrone defender Cathal McCarron dragged him to the ground. Both players were issued with yellow cards. 

McCarron later brought down Mark Lynch for a penalty but referee Ciaran Branagan chose not to caution him a second time.

“There’s not too many times a team can give away two penalties and end up with 15 men on the pitch,” Barton told The Irish News


“I think there were some very critical decisions that frees came from that were a wee bit more difficult for us. 

“I’m not lamenting as a losing manager but that’s the absolute reality. 

“I’ve got to look at our coaching and encourage how our players should deal with an oncoming tackle. 

“I’m not being facetious but I think the game was decided once we went down to 14 men.”


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