GAA

Ger Loughnane Backs Introduction Of Black Card In Hurling

Ger Loughnane Backs Introduction Of Black Card In Hurling

It has been a contentious issue in the sport for the last few years, but we are now closer than ever to seeing a black card introduced in hurling.

A motion will be presented to GAA congress tomorrow that suggests the black card be brought into hurling in order to combat cynical play.

The rule would see a penalty be given, as well as the player who committed the foul being sent to the sin-bin for ten minutes, if they commit a foul deny a clear goalscoring opportunity inside the 20m line or the semi-circle.

Many currently involved at inter-county level have been outspoken on the issue, with the likes of Davy Fitzgerald saying he thinks the rules of the game should be left as they currently are.

On the other hand, it is clear that cynicism is at an all-time high in the sport. There were countless examples of players being hauled down while on the march towards goal over the last couple of championships, something that is currently only punished by a scorable free.

It is no coincidence that fewer goals are being scored in hurling. Ger Loughnane is amongst those who have seen enough.

Speaking to former GAA president Nickey Brennan on Community Radio Kilkenny City, he said he backs the black card and penalty proposal that will go in front of congress tomorrow.

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Any change in the GAA, particularly in hurling, brings great controversy and great discussion.

You remember the Anthony Nash penalty, and we all thought the solution was very simple and the GAA came with the proper solution at the end of the day.

Tactics are such a huge part of hurling nowadays, and with tactics comes the exploitation of every rule if you can. We see people are exploiting the rules that are there - and rightly so, why wouldn’t they? - and pushing them to the very, very limit. That was always part of hurling.

But the cynical tackle, this bringing down the player when a goal threatens, I think everybody realises now that has to be stopped because goals are drying up, number one, and hurling is associated with goals and great goals that energise the crowd.

I think the solution is very, very simple: if it’s inside the 21 (yard line) they’re going to give a penalty and give the person a black card. I’m in favour of the black card rather than the sin bin... inside the 21 or within the semi-circle, if a goal threatens within that area it should be a penalty and give the person a black card.

I don’t think it needs much more beyond that.

It's hard to disagree with him here. Goals make great games, so defenders should be forced to think twice about hauling down an opposition forward to stop him finding the back of the net.

It remains to be seen if the voters at GAA congress will agree.

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Gary Connaughton

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