GAA

Time for the GAA to embrace TMO

 

Louth-players-contest-the-decision-to-award-Joe-Sheridans-goal-for-Meath-Picture-Inpho-
Heartbroken Louth players and fans look on as the referee gifts Meath the Leinster Championship in 2010. picture:inpho

There have been growing calls for the GAA to use the TMO system in top level matches after years of dubious decisions.

The argument for TMO has been a hot topic ever since Dublin manager Jim Gavin said in an interview with the Irish Mirror. In the interview Gavin said that such a system could benefit match officials, who have come under fire for decisions made in high-profile games again this year and in the past most noticeably the 2010 Leinster Final where Louth were cheated by Meath after Meath scored a goal that wouldn`t be out of place on a rugby pitch.

Which lead to angry scenes at the full time whistle,with Louth fans surrounding and shoving the referee who eventually had to be escorted from the pitch by the Gardai.

Other famous examples where TMO would have saved the day if it was used include Benny Coulter’s goal against Kildare and Bernard Brogan`s controversial against Kildare in 2011 after the referee blew for a dubious foul on the Dublin forward deep into injury time. Replays showed the referee was on harsh to give the free against the lillywhites and the free shouldn`t of been given which would have given Kildare a deserved replay.

 

The 2015 season also featured high profile debates in some of the biggest games such as Kerry v Cork in the Munster final,Tyrone v Kerry in the All Ireland semi final and the one of the most controversial moments of the season in the All Ireland Final when Kerry wern`t awarded a penalty in the dying minutes of the game denying them the chance to save the final. But if the use of TMO the final may have produced a different outcome.

Of course TMO can help decide what action the referee can make for off the field incidents for example if the TMO was available to the referee during this years All Ireland final then he could have made a proper decision after the TMO referee had viewed the alleged eye gouging incident between Philly McMahon and Kieran Donaghy.

TMO has helped referees outside of the GAA. Most notably in Rugby League where the referee sent of Wigan`s Ben Flower in the Super League Grand Final in 2014 after the TMO showed he threw two punches at St Helen`s Lance Hohaia with the second punch being delivered even after Hohaia was unconscious on the ground. Flower`s madness earned him the record of the first and the quickest sending off in the grand final after just two minutes and was banned for six months the longest in Super League history.

 

The current technology Hawk Eye has helped referees in the past including the 2014 All Ireland hurling final. Where referee Barry Kelly referee referred to hawk eye after Tipperary`s John O`Dwyer hit a free from distance with the game tied in the dying seconds. Hawk Eye was used to confirm it had gone wide and the final went to a replay.

In conclusion the sooner TMO is introduced into top level GAA games referees will start to be able to feel less pressured in making decisions  and will be able to get on with the game without the fear of making the wrong call as TMO and Hawk Eye will be able to save the day.

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