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Mayo manager calls for consistency over black cards


James Horan
WHAT’S ANOTHER YEAR??James Horan in Charlestown last Sunday before the game was moved to Bekan.?Pic: Sportsfile

Black card ‘anarchy’

Horan calls for consistency

Edwin McGreal

MAYO manager James Horan fears ‘anarchy’ following the introduction of the black card in Gaelic football.
Two Mayo players – Kevin McLoughlin and Kevin Keane – were ejected from last Sunday’s FBD Connacht League game against IT Sligo for what referee Ray McBrien deemed cynical play. But Horan labelled some of the decisions made by the Leitrim official ‘crazy’.
The Mayo boss says he supports the black card, which aims to punish players engaging in deliberate body collisions, trips or pull-downs and verbal abuse. But the Ballintubber man warns that differing interpretations of what constitutes a ‘deliberate’ foul could lead to ‘anarchy’.
“I agree with the black card system overall,” he said after the game in Bekan. “I think it is good but the problem with it is, and we discussed this before it was implemented, the interpretation by referees. The two cards that we got today I thought ... it was incidental contact, certainly the first one with Kevin McLoughlin.
“There was, I thought, three or four occasions that [IT] Sligo did exactly the same and it wasn’t a black card, so you’ve no idea what’s a black card now and what’s not. It’s based on a referee’s interpretation and when that’s the case, anarchy follows. We don’t want to be talking about, in the summer, black cards as opposed to football. We just need to be very, very careful.
“You prepare as best you can for the rules that are written down and hope that refs will apply it logically, but I thought today’s were crazy,” he added. “We’re in danger ... the black card is a good system but if it is reffed like that it is going to lead to bother.”
Horan says he expects the National Referees Committee chaired by Pat McEneaney will ‘review’ how the black card has worked in the pre-season competitions to ensure ‘more reliability’ in decisions during the National League.
Mayo travel to Ballinlough next Sunday, January 19 to play Roscommon at 2pm, with the winners assured of a place in the FBD League final.

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