Limerick manager John Kiely believes the introduction of video assistance into GAA would be a “very positive move” for the games.
Limerick fell foul of an incorrect decision by officials in their All-Ireland semi-final loss to Kilkenny when, in the dying seconds of the game with just one point between the sides, Darragh O’Donovan’s sideline cut, which was sailing towards the target, appeared to have deflected off the hurley of Cillian Buckley. Much to the outrage of the Limerick midfielder, the ball was called wide by the umpires.
There have been motions for the introduction of video reviews as far back as 2010, but it has widely been opposed by GAA officials.
However, Kiely believes the time has come for the issue to be addressed, though it must be done with as little interruption to play as possible, according to the Galbally native.
“There is a fairly wide acceptance that there is room for improvement in that area. And we are all very much willing to buy into anything that will improve the accuracy of what we are doing on matchday. There is a huge amount at stake be it in a Munster final, or an All-Ireland semi-final or final. These games come down to such small margins.
“If we can ensure that everybody goes home knowing that the result is the correct result, and the right result, and that correct decisions were taken on the day by whatever means that is possible without interrupting the flow of the game obviously.
“You don’t want to end up with a soccer VAR where people are walking off the field to look at a screen, nobody wants that. But if there was a mechanism by which we could make a call on the sideline to ask whoever is upstairs looking at these cameras and screens, who can see exactly what has happened and to slow it down. To get the correct decision.
“If it takes 30 seconds, 40 seconds to do that through the fourth official, I think that is a fantastic idea and one that I think all management teams would be very supportive of, in terms of ensuring the correct decisions are found.”
Kiely maintains that the introduction of video assistance would only benefit the games and the players involved.
“We do have the technology this is not something we have to create, we already have these in place. It is just a case of being able to refer to it on matchday as opposed to waiting for the Sunday Game to highlight it when it is too late to do something about it.
“All of these guys, every county, the effort these guys are putting in now, nine or ten months before the All-Ireland final. You would have to appreciate what they go through to get themselves to those points in their careers, in their season.
“For it to be influenced by a poor decision that could be clarified on the day by a simple referral to video assistance, I think that would be a very positive move.”
Kiely insists that the side are no longer dwelling on their narrow loss to Kilkenny and are instead focused on making amends in 2020.
Limerick open their season by welcoming All-Ireland champions Tipperary to LIT Gaelic Grounds on Friday, December 20 in the Co-Op Superstores Munster Senior Hurling League.
“It was parked for me within two days being straight up about it. It was unfortunate. It was an error, we all make errors, we all make mistakes we move on. That is the bottom line. We had the game in our own control on the day.
“If we had been a little bit more efficient we could have found those extra one or two scores. It didn’t happen on the day for us. The best team won on the day and we move on. As far as we are concerned it is all about 2020 now, not looking back on 2019.”