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Murphy warns of yellow peril

By John Campbell

The possible introduction of a new rule whereby yellow cards will replace the 'ticking' system currently in operation as part of the disciplinary process within the GAA has largely been welcomed by clubs and counties.

But today Ulster Council secretary Danny Murphy confirmed that there is what will be regarded as a 'down side' to the implementation of this scheme.

With the proposed new rule likely to be aired at Congress, there is now the belief that, if passed, it could become operative for the first time in the Gaelic Life Dr McKenna Cup in 2009.

Under the rule, a player who warrants a yellow card will have to leave the field of play for the remainder of a game but will be replaced by a substitute.

However, his replacement will mean that a team manager will then have used up one of his five allotted substitutes for that particular game.

"A manager could in consequence find himself shackled somewhat when it comes to making tactical switches involving changes in personnel or when his side perhaps incurs injuries during the course of a game.

"It will certainly make managers perhaps more circumspect in relation to substitutions in general," predicts Murphy.

It was at a Central Council meeting earlier this month that the rule change was discussed in tandem with other proposals all of which are designed to reduce the instances of four play, particularly violent play, and ensure that serial offenders are punished more heavily.

The proposed abolition of the ticking system - often viewed as contentious since its introduction - will be welcomed but the 'yellow peril' will hover over teams if the new ruling gets the green light.

"Any rule amendments that are aimed at further eradicating continuous foul play and indeed violence are to be welcomed, of course. Managers may now find themselves under rather more pressure, though," points out Danny Murphy.

" It is generally accepted nowadayts that championship matches in particular demand the use of perhaps seventeen or maybe even twenty players and this is in the normal course of things. So teams certainly could not afford to use up substitutes at an early stage in such games through yellow card replacements."

Murphy stresses that the proposed rule change is still in its embryonic stage and that it will be a matter for Congress to decide if it should be formally introduced.

" Obviously consistency in the interpretation of our playing rules and higher standards of discipline are elements that we are pursuing all the time. Any changes that can help us get closer to achieveing these goals should be welcomed," adds Murphy.

Belfast Telegraph


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