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Tyrone manager Mickey Harte wants to tear up black card rule

By Declan Bogue

Published 02/08/2016

Controversial: Mickey Harte believes the black card rule offers no value
Controversial: Mickey Harte believes the black card rule offers no value

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has stated that he would like the controversial black card written out of the GAA rule book.

Asked about Matthew Donnelly and Cathal McShane's Ulster final appearances being curtailed by marginal black card decisions, Harte responded: "I would be a very biased person to ask about that. I would bin it right now.

"I don't have to tell you again that I was never an advocate of the black card anyway. I really do not see the value in it and it is difficult and adds another degree of difficulty to the job of referees.

"When there is so many things to attend to, and I might never sound like I am being sympathetic towards referees, but I do understand the difficulty of what they have to do in real time.

"Why add another dimension of difficulty to that, when what attracts a black card now was always yellow card material anyway?

"Those decisions could be very hurtful for a player and they could lose something very special in their career over it. It is something that does need attending to."

Another element he finds unsatisfactory is the delay in appealing black card decisions. Under current rules, a player cannot appeal a black card until they have picked up three and accrued a suspension.

"My view on that is that it is about as ridiculous as the introduction of the black card. I just don't understand it," Harte said.

"I think it's grossly unfair that you have to reflect back to something that happened eight or nine months ago, get the footage of it and re-live that situation and have someone make a retrospective judgment on that, and then another one and another one."

Harte compared the introduction of the black card to the 'mark' rule, which is set to come into effect next year.

"You can appeal everything else within three days. It's moving the goalposts again to suit yourself. Just like moving the goalposts to suit the mark," he said.

"Everything that gets through on Congress is in place within a month, apart from a few things that are dicey because they say, 'we will leave that until the next year, everybody will have forgotten how not useful they are'."

Harte, meanwhile, also confirmed that Matthew Donnelly and Ronan O'Neill suffered concussions of varying degrees in a round of club league fixtures last Sunday.

Neither, however, will be ruled out of this Saturday's All-Ireland quarter-final showdown against Mayo.

Belfast Telegraph

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