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Final Mistaken Identity Error Shows The Real Problem With GAA Refereeing

Final Mistaken Identity Error Shows The Real Problem With GAA Refereeing
By Maurice Brosnan Updated

Cork and Tipperary played out a tense and entertaining 1-16 to 3-13 Bord Gais Energy U21 All-Ireland final today, which saw a late Cork rally fall short as Tipperary earned revenge for their Munster Final defeat.

The closing exchanges could have been easier for Liam Cahill's side. Early in the first half, Cork's Mark Coleman was shown a yellow card after he gave away a penalty which Jake Morris expertly converted. His low drive into the ground snuck past Ger Collins.

Later in the game, with ten minutes left, Morris once again scored from a placed ball as he brought the sides level 1-12 to 1-12 with a free. However, the free was conceded by Coleman. Despite this, the referee showed his half-back partner Eoghan Murphy a yellow card. The decision proved bewildering for viewers.

Once again, this puts the spotlight on a crucial aspect of Gaelic games officiating. An unfortunate but no less understandable reality is that referees will make mistakes. They are human. However, the lack of assistance from linesmen and umpires ensures these mistakes become far more significant.

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Consistently this year, inter-county managers have called for referees to be given greater help. "I think referees need help. The game has become so quick, and there is so much going on off the ball" said Kerry's Eamonn Fitzmaurice. "It is the one thing this association just can't seem to get right and that's officiating. Good officiating where all the officials are tuned in to what is going on around the place" said Roscommon's Kevin McStay. "Once again, the linesman is doing absolutely nothing," said Kildare's Cian O'Neill.

The phantom goal earlier this year in the Munster Championship tie between Waterford and Tipperary reconfirmed this fact. Referees are not getting the help they need. Today's mistake was a poor one, but the fact four other individuals also failed to intervene is equally concerning.

SEE ALSO: Cork Star Runs Half The Pitch To Score Outstanding All-Ireland Final Goal

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