Tyrone defeated Kerry 0-14 to 0-13 at Edendork in Division 1 of the Allianz Football League on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams finished the game with 14 players after Peter Harte and later David Clifford were shown red cards.
The Clifford incident, in particular, was contentious. It came after the Kerry captain was shown his second yellow card of the game.
After grappling with Tyrone substitute Ben McDonnell, Clifford was dragged to the ground and held his arms aloft to signal he had no interest in a fight. McDonnell had only entered the action six minutes earlier.
Send a sub on to the star forward on a yellow, start a row pull him down to the ground. Smart by Tyrone but not so smart by the 2 umpires 10 yards away with no clue of who is on a yellow or the situation that’s just unfolded. Proper camera angles may suggest otherwise. #gaa
— Kieran Donaghy (@starryboy14) February 9, 2020
Well serious controversy here, David Clifford has been sent off. Umpire called in the ref and gave David a second yellow. Injustice according to our commentary team
— Radio Kerry Sport (@radiokerrysport) February 9, 2020
Can't believe the umpire called a yellow for Clifford.. oldest trick in the book..ridiculous officiating. Clearly trying to just protect himself.
— Alan Brogan (@alanbrogan13) February 9, 2020
Despite Clifford's efforts, after referee Fergal Kelly consulted with his umpires, the Kerry forward was booked for the second occasion. Tyrone led 0-12 to 0-10 at the time with just four minutes of normal time to play.
It was a moment which raised anger. The referee had taken the easy and most common option which faced with such a situation: book both players.
"My take on it was that it wasn't a yellow card," said Kerry manager Peter Keane on BBC Radio Ulster's Sportsound.
"He was on a yellow card from earlier and he was probably easy pickings to give two yellow cards to."
Two points up but a man down, what do you do?? Single out an opposition player on a yellow, drag him to the ground and even things up. Scandalous that officials dont cop onto this 🙈 #gaabeo pic.twitter.com/uOE8I3Yarg
— David Herity (@DavidHerity) February 9, 2020