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Gough Backed '100%' About Cork Vs Kerry Penalty At GAA Refs Meeting

Gough Backed '100%' About Cork Vs Kerry Penalty At GAA Refs Meeting
By PJ Browne Updated
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David Gough says that at a meeting of elite level GAA referees on Wednesday evening, it was unanimously decided that he made the correct decision to award Kerry a penalty against Cork on Saturday.

David Clifford converted a 47th minute spot kick which had been given after Cork's Sean Powter pulled down Paul Geaney as the Kerry forward ran towards goal in possession of the ball.

Though the foul had occurred outside the box, Gough adjudged that Powter had denied Geaney a goalscoring opportunity via what was deemed to be a foul worthy of a black card, and the kick was awarded.

Gough agreed "100 per cent" that the reaction to his decision highlighted a lack of knowledge about the rule.

Pictured is GAA Referee and LGBTQ+ advocate David Gough at the launch of SuperValu’s ‘Wear with Pride’ Laces campaign. As part of the initiative and SuperValu’s wider #CommunityIncludesEveryone campaign, rainbow laces will be available to purchase in over 222 SuperValu stores nationwide for Pride month, with proceeds going to support Belong To, LGBTQ+ Youth Ireland. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

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"Ignorance in that there may have been a lack of knowledge or understanding of the rule," Gough said at the launch of SuperValu’s ‘Wear with Pride’ Laces campaign.


"When I explained on the pitch to the Cork players what was happening they seem to go, 'oh, okay'. And they were fine about it. When I was walking off the pitch John Cleary (the Cork manager) was giving out to me that he said he had seen the incident back and it was outside the penalty box, that it was never a penalty.

"I then explained the situation to him and I'm listening to him on the radio going home and he's saying it was never a goalscoring opportunity. So even he didn't understand what was going on.

"And it's a difficult one because players, first of all, weren't aware of the rule and second of all, then people, pundits, media, managers didn't have a great understanding of the rule and the language of the goalscoring opportunity and what that actually constitutes.


"So that's why there was so much confusion about it. It has been discussed at the highest level [on Wednesday] night among the elite referees on the national panel, and there was a unanimous decision made that it was 100 per cent the correct decision.

"And I only got to see it once. I got to see it in real time. And we have a situation where you know, people are viewing this back 10 and 15 times and still can't arrive at the correct decision."


Gough feels that the rule has been applied consistently by referees but is not used often as players are aware of the consequences should they deny a goalscoring opportunity via a black card-worthy foul.


The Meath referee also said that Paul Flynn was incorrect when he suggested on The Saturday Game that Dublin should have been awarded a penalty against Kildare for an incident similar to the one in the Kerry and Cork match

"Well, I certainly applied it in the Mayo vs Monaghan game at the end of the league," said Gough.


"It was a much more clearcut pulldown, the type that we would have seen Sean Cavanagh doing [against Monaghan in 2013].

"I think the players are aware of it for the most part and that's why we're not seeing it because it was brought in to prevent this type of scenario happening. They are not happening as often as they used to.

"I know we have watched them at elite level inside Croke Park. There was a potential one in the Dublin game last weekend and I know Paul Flynn was calling for greater consistency. However, the Dublin one was not a pulldown so it couldn't be considered a black card. Therefore, the goalscoring opportunity, part of the rule doesn't come into play.


"We have a very good understanding as to where these fouls fit in the language of the rules. Yes, the foul was cynical and it prevented a goalscoring opportunity but no, it was not a black card foul, so therefore the application of that rule didn't come into play."

Gough also said that the condensed season has been "tough" for referees.

"But that is what we have signed up for," he continued.

"If we want to be part of the elite panel you are giving up every weekend. Including the National League, you pretty much have two or three weekends off from February until, you're hoping, the end of June.

"And it is difficult. It is difficult to stay motivated. It is difficult to keep an umpire team together. But it's what we love.

"And if we want to be like the players and refereeing at the highest possible standard that we can be, we need to be refereeing those games week in, week out just the way the players are playing them."

See Also: How Kerry Career Ended Still Rankles With Russell

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