Following last weekend’s controversy, Conor McManus has argued for the introduction of a television match official
The unfortunate Conor McManus returned to Croke Park yesterday to collect his GAA-GPA Player of the Month Award. Although Monaghan’s defeat to Tyrone was still fresh in the mind of McManus, he did return to the scene of Sunday’s bitter clash with a suggestion that is worth debating.
While the Monaghan Captain discussed aspects of his sides defeat, the assembled media really wanted to discuss the now infamous Tiernan McCann incident. However McManus would not be drawn on the subject, instead he argued for the introduction of a Television Match Official.
McManus stated, ‘You can’t see what Marty Duffy seen, but again it goes back to helping the officials out. I’m sure when he watches that back himself that he’ll know that Darren didn’t deserve to get a red card. So why not have something in place that can tell Marty Duffy at the time?’
The forward added, ‘I suppose it’s something that has to be looked at possibly in terms of helping the officials out. The referee is there on his own and possibly needs to get more help from the officials around him to deal with that sort of stuff.’
He pointed out that, ‘there is a screen there – I don’t know if it played it or not – but if it did then 80,000 or whatever was inside Croke Park would have all known it wasn’t… yet the referee didn’t know?’
Such a system has been used in rugby for some time now. Although the TMO was initial introduced to determine whether or not a try had been scored, the role of the television match official has been widened so as analyse incidents of foul play. However it has not been without its critics.
Some have argued that the TMO has undermined the position of the referee. They point to the fact that officials have in the past questioned their own decisions after viewing replays. Others have argued that it is difficult for a referee to come to a clear judgement, while viewing incidents on a big screen in front of thousands of supporters trying to influence decisions.
Not only is the referees decision being scrutinised in the stadium, but in every media outlet and home watching the same replays as the match official. Consequently, as critical calls are debated endlessly in TV studios, further external pressure has been placed on the shoulders of referees.
Therefore, in order to avoid intense scrutiny, officials have become increasingly reliant on the TMO. Indeed if some referees are in any bit uncertain, their immediate response is to call on the TMO, undermining the position of their assistants. Consequently the time spent reviewing decisions referred to the TMO, has resulted in lengthy breaks during games, destroying momentum and draining venue’s of their atmosphere.
The GAA should therefore thread carefully if they are to act on McManus’ suggestion. Referees need to remain empowered and parameters put in place, so as to not allow the game be disrupted.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena