“It just never stops.”
The referee who was in charge of last year’s All-Ireland final between Dublin and Kerry is widely regarded as one of the best match officials in the sport, but he is also one of the most vocal.
The Meath native has never been afraid to give his opinions on the game, the rules, and what needs to change to make it a better sport overall, so when it came to light that even more changes were about to be made, he was never going to just sit on his hands.
This weekend the GAA’s central council will vote on whether or not to make two major changes to the Gaelic football rule book.
Firstly, there could be a change to the black card rule in terms of its application during extra time. The proposal wants to see black cards striken from the record once the full time whistle is blown, with the offending team returning to their full 15 on the pitch.
This is a similar policy with black and yellow cards, that are also written off once extra time in a match begins, however it could lead to potential cynical fouling late in the game because players will know that their punishment will be undone anyway.
The second proposal is to make permanent the rule where preventing a goalscoring opportunity within the 20-metre line/arc and 25 metres in from the sideline is a penalty.
One aspect about these proposals that angered Gough was the fact that they were only made public this week.
It just never stops….endless unnecessary tinkering with the rules. Elite referees, unsurprisingly, only given 24 hours to view & respond to this one, which I severely oppose.
Playing Rules committee want to stop black cards carrying over into extra-time https://t.co/XaeITsWJph
— David Gough (@goughd4) November 3, 2023
“It just never stops…endless unnecessary tinkering with the rules. Elite referees, unsurprisingly, only given 24 hours to view & respond to this one, which I severely oppose.”
Everything about it in terms of the timing, the lack of notice, the little to no input from referees themselves is frustrating, and Gough is right to speak up about the matter.
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