Sean Cavanagh believes the black card rule is not being properly applied by referees.
The Tyrone veteran is not surprised that the black card continues to cause controversy. He says as long as the application is inconsistent issues will arise.
An incident involving Cavanagh is thought to have been the catalyst for the introduction of the black card.
He hauled down Monaghan’s Conor McManus as he sprinted through on goal in a Championship game back in 2013.
The 34-year-old feels that the rule was introduced too hastily and a lack of common sense in the application continue to hamper it:
“In some cases black cards are being dished out for things that are maybe barely even fouls in my opinion.
“That’s a frustrating point and it worries me that referees are trying to referee a rulebook as opposed to reading the game.
“Some of our best referees down through the years, the likes of Pat McEnaney was always lauded as a great referee, in my opinion he didn’t always apply the rulebook, he applied common sense.
“Up and down every club and county pitch in Ireland that’s all supporters want to see.
“Part of that is being able to recognise when someone is doing something purposefully or cynically and when they’re not.
“The problem at the moment is referees are taking these judgements and not giving the players any benefit of the doubt.
“If someone does something cynical yeah for sure give them a black card, but I don’t think any common sense or any sort of rational is playing enough of a part in these decisions.”
Cavanagh believes the rules should be in place to deter cynical play, but doesn’t believe the current provisions are the most effective way to do that.
He also rejected the suggestion that he was the main reason for the introduction of the black card:
“I’m told I wasn’t the reasoning behind the black card coming in, a few people told me that it was going to come in anyway and I sort of pushed it over the line.
“Whenever someone is trying to go through on goal and somebody tries to pull them down for sure black card, make it a red card, make it a penalty.
“What we currently have and the way it’s been officiated doesn’t work, I think everyone recognises that.”
Dublin U21 footballer & co-captain Cillian O’Shea and Galway U21 footballer & captain Michael Daly met in Croke Park today ahead of the EirGrid GAA Football U21 All-Ireland Final which will take place on Saturday, 29th April at 5pm in O’Connor Park, Tullamore.
EirGrid is the state-owned company that manages and develops Ireland's electricity grid. Sean Cavanagh is an Eirgrid ambassador.
For more information see www.eirgrid.com.