Home GAA Jim Gavin Hits Out At “Bizarre” Ruling To Uphold Michael Fitzsimons Red Card

Jim Gavin Hits Out At “Bizarre” Ruling To Uphold Michael Fitzsimons Red Card

Jim Gavin wasn’t too impressed with the decision to award and uphold Michael Fitzsimons’ red card against Mayo…

Dublin overcame Kerry at Croke Park yesterday after yet another powerful second-half display. The Boys in Blue upped it a gear to avenge their defeat in last year’s final, as they now look forward to the meeting with Galway next week.

Jim Gavin’s side had to do without Michael Fitzsimons, as the Cuala man was red-carded during their win over Mayo two weeks ago. Speaking after yesterday’s game, Gavin revealed that they had unsuccessfully attempted to clear him of the charges, and was left bemused by the reasoning.

“We were here Thursday night with the Central Hearings Committee meeting. We had to demonstrate conclusive evidence that his foul wasn’t a Category 3 offence – dangerous play.

“We had footage from eir Sport – great footage – to show conclusively that it wasn’t dangerous play, and that it was deemed that we didn’t conclusively demonstrate that.

“For those of us who have played the game and who have coached in the game understand, if a player is leading in to take a shot and all the indicators are that he’s going to shoot, you commit yourself to the block. It was a great offload by Aidan O’Shea, at the last the last moment. Michael was committed, with momentum, to the block. At the time I thought it was probably a free out for the over-carry, but that aside… Aidan O’Shea is great off his left foot, he needs to be blocked. Michael commits to the block, and there’s minimum contact. There’s no reaction from the Mayo players. Aidan gets up off his feet and plays on, and it’s deemed that it was a Category 3 offence, which I just find really bizarre.

“Maybe there’s an objective to sanitise the game of gaelic football. I look at our hurling fraternity and they’ve kept the physicality in their game. Hurling is a great sport because of that. We just need to be mindful of that.

Gavin then went on to highlight another instance where such physicality in the same game was let go.

“James McCarthy took a big hit in the second half. He got up, no drama. You want physicality in the game. If a player commits to a tackle and mistimes it… you want to keep that in our games.

“Even out there today, some great challenges were going in from both sides, committing to the ball, that’s the first and foremost. It’s important we keep that in our game, as that’s what makes it attractive. And for the players, as that’s what makes it attractive for them to play.”

The Boys in Blue now head for Salthill next weekend, to take on Galway.

About Brian Barry