Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

GAA ref: Don’t look back in anger at decisions made in matches

Referee Pat McEneaney wants the GAA to scrap the process whereby match officials can be asked to revisit decisions made on the field of play.

The Monaghan official’s remarks come after he was asked to review incidents during the Tyrone-Derry NFL game last month via video, after which he upgraded four players' yellow card offences to red cards, warranting bans to be put in place by the Central Competitions Control Committee.

“I would like to get our disciplinary system right, like they have in rugby,” McEneaney said.

“We would referee a match on the Sunday, a committee would look at the game on the Monday, downgrade or upgrade a decision and the player would have the right to appeal. End of story.

“In other words, we are clinical and clear. People should never come back to the referee like we do.

“We are probably the only sport in the world that comes back to a referee — when they want to upgrade a decision. They don't come back when they want to downgrade a decision.”

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte was outraged by the decision of Croke Park's disciplinary body, criticising them for not acting fairly across the board with regards to televised games.

Tyrone even threatened to prevent any future league games being videoed if the issue was not addressed.

Former referee John Bannon is set to bring a motion forward at next month's Congress proposing that such reviews be discounted and McEneaney will be backing the motion, but still acknowledges that it is his duty to act in accordance with the rules.

“I know the rules. I am refereeing and I know the system,” he explained.

“I know what people expect of me at Croke Park. I like to think that I act with a lot of dignity and respect and that must continue.

“When you are asked to review something you hold your hands up if you made a mistake and move on. You make sure that it doesn't happen the next time.”

McEnaney insists that refereeing is no different to actually playing the game.

“If you have a bad day then you move on knowing that your next game is going to be crucial.

“I cannot afford to have another bad day at the office.

“If I do you won’t see me again for the rest of the season,” he said.

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