This week’s Wednesday Whinge relates to the issuing of a replay between Laois and Armagh after the O’Moore County had used surplus subs in their win over the Orchard men in a recent qualifier match. We questions why a replay is becoming too much of a cop-out for the GAA.
Clare vs Offaly in 1998, Meath vs Antrim in 2016 and now Laois vs Armagh in 2016. These are just three examples of replays being issued following the conclusion of a game.
Clare vs Offaly was deemed to have not being concluded. Meath and Antrim turned out to have the incorrect scoreline and now Laois used an extra substitute.
Three different reasons; the same outcome. The question then was asked; why was the 2010 Leinster Football Final not replayed when a blatant refereeing error cost Louth an elusive Leinster crown?
Why was the 2013 All-Ireland minor semi-final not replayed when Limerick were denied a perfectly legal point by HawkEye and ended up drawing their game with Galway?
These are only two examples, but let there be no doubt there are many more.
And this piece is just looking at the issuing of replays. There have been countless other times when players have gotten off suspensions or fines have been issued only to be lessened or squashed on appeals.
There is an overriding theme here and that are the endless number of grey areas that exist in the GAA rulebook. It turns out that rules can be bent or broken and nobody really knows what the consequences will be.
When sanctions are presented, they can change as a result of good lawyers or other areas of incompetency.
In realistic terms, a replay probably should have been issued for the Christy Ring Cup final. The score was wrong, Meath didn’t technically win the game. Most people were happy that they won the ‘replay’, as their celebrations did not go to waste, and they even got to enjoy them for a second time.
The next game to go to replay is now Laois vs Armagh. So Laois won the game 1-10 to 0-10 but used seven subs instead of the allowed six.
They broke the rules. But what was the punishment? Nobody knew.
The issue went back to the GAA who somehow decided that a replay was in order.
How they came to this conclusion, nobody really knows.
But the point here is that there was no proper rule in place. There is no set punishment for a team that breaks the limit for use of subs. It seems that a game is reviewed and then an ‘appropriate’ punishment is applied.
The faults and scope for error in this is simply too big. The rules have to be set and punishment must meet the crime. Again, inadequacies and mistakes are being allowed for. The GAA is only leaving themselves open to criticism.
The overall point of this whinge is that rules need to be put in place far more efficiently. The mistakes keep happening and are getting less acceptable by the day.
We fully understand that we live in Ireland, where we will complain about the rain and then complain about the heat when the sun shines.
But this weekly whinge is pitting against proper problems that GAA faces.
Until proper action is taken, we will continue to voice our oppositions.
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