Carlow's Daniel St. Ledger has criticised the GAA over showing a "lack of respect" to Division Four as a result of the failure of the GAA to provide linesmen and umpires for London's clash with Carlow at Ruislip. It meant that the game featured linesmen and umpires drafted from GAA clubs in London.
London manager Ciaran Deely tweeted his irritation, with Carlow's Turlough O'Brien replying in agreement.
First round of League on Saturday @LONDAINGAA v @Carlow_GAA and only Referee travelled over for game from Ireland. #GAA didn't send over any 4th Official or match Assistant Referees. Local London officials had to be used. When is London GAA going to get the respect they deserve?? pic.twitter.com/PNsi0ol5LC
— Ciaran Deely (@CiDeely) January 29, 2018
Couldn't agree more Ciaran. Its disrespect to all Div 4 teams. Same level of officiating should apply in every NFL game.
— Turlough O Brien (@TurloughCarlow) January 29, 2018
Speaking on our new The So-Called Weaker Podcast, which is covering the national leagues from the point of view of the counties who probably won't win the All-Ireland, St.Ledger described the officiating as a "slap in the face for Division Four".
The incident also gives him cause to doubt a future tiered football championship, which outgoing Director-General Paraic Duffy has called necessary for the game.
I don't know [why it happened], I've no idea. It was a real lack of respect. You had four umpires from clubs in London, and two linesmen from London, too. Now nothing happened, thankfully, but it's a real slap in the face for Division four.
When you hear calls for tiered championships, incidents like that would put you off it. God forbid, if there's a Tommy Murphy Cup again, how we would be treated.
I can see the merit in a completely tiered championship - like at club level, with senior, intermediate, and junior. But on the flip side of that, it could be completely forgotten.
At the end of the day, the media has a huge interest with the top four or five teams, and on Sunday night the [lower tier] results weren't even mentioned.
That's why you'll see so many pulls from Division Three and Four managers against a tiered championship. It's not because we want to be going out getting hammered by big teams, but it's because we don't want to be forgotten, and stay relevant.
That was the first time I've ever been put out by something like that. I found it astonishing that something like that could happen. if Dublin and Kildare played at the weekend, imagine if four Kildare officials came out to do that game? It just wouldn't happen. It's unheard of. I don't see how our game in London should be any different to any other game.
It's absolutely ridiculous.
You can listen to the interview in full on the podcast. Subscribe on iTunes or by searching 'Balls.ie Podcasts' wherever you consume your pods.