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GPA comes out in favour of video technology

The GPA intends to take a greater stakeholding in game-related issues into the future.

It follows their annual general meeting on Friday last, prior to their awards ceremony in City West, when two motions were passed that relate to the running of the games.

It is also understood that a discussion on the moratorium on training for all inter-county teams in November and December also took place with views expressed than a change in the current system should be made.

This however was not formalised into a motion but proposals from the players body on the ban could be brought forward at a later date. A staggered pre-season start, aligned with how far a county team had advanced in the previous summer's championship, could form the core of any future proposal.

The players body passed two motions, one backing the introduction of video technology at senior games where venues deem it practical, the other calling for timekeeping to be taken out of the hands of referees.

Referees have been split on the issue of technology and timekeeping but with a couple of proposals due to go before management in the next few weeks technology could move a step closer.

Gaelic football's most experienced referee Pat McEnaney says he has no issue with timekeeping being taken out of the referee's hands.

“Anything that lessens the load on the referee I would be in favour of. I'd be happy with the way referees deal with timekeeping now but if there is a better way like a separate timekeeper then I'd back that too,” said McEnaney.

McEnaney added he would have no personal objection to technology being used at games either. He was involved in one of the major controversies of the summer when Benny Coulter goal was allowed by him and his officials in the All-Ireland semi-final between Down and Kildare despite Coulter's presence in the square.

“I feel controversy over square balls could have been removed if the rule experiment used during the league had been adopted at Congress. I feel a lot of referees would have been happy if the square ball rule was done away with,” he said.

The GPA have no facility to advance their motions to annual Congress so last Friday's work is really only a broad consensus from the playing group.

But with official recognition and funding now secure and services and welfare services being rolled out the players body intend being more proactive in helping to develop the games.

Belfast Telegraph

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