The Limerick County Board executive will officially call on the GAA to introduce the use of a TV match official where possible.
Chairman John Cregan has told the Irish Examiner they are to put forward a motion for consideration in the wake of their senior hurlers not being awarded a late 65 in their one-point All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Kilkenny in July.
Although Darragh O’Donovan’s sideline cut appeared to deflect off the hurley of Cillian Buckley, neither referee Alan Kelly, his umpires nor linesman Patrick Murphy saw that it touched a Kilkenny player before going out over the end-line and thus it was waved wide.
Limerick released a statement in the wake of the game, confirming that they respected that the better team had won the game but had lodged a complaint against the call to Croke Park.
Cregan reiterates that Kilkenny were worthy winners. However, he stresses the decision against John Kiely’s side was unacceptable and wants to see measures brought in to ensure they are not repeated.
With that in mind, Limerick are interested in teams being granted a limited number of challenges against a referee’s decision in applying a rule.
“You’re not talking about something that is at the discretion of the referee but a playing rule whereby if a ball is deflected over the end-line by a defender it’s a 65. We took our beating, we have discussed the matter since obviously because a lot of people feel aggrieved by it.
“We have discussed it at management (committee level) and we have decided to proceed with something. I briefly mentioned it to Ard Stiúrthóir (Tom Ryan) when I met him and our thinking would be that somebody, be it a captain or manager, should have an entitlement to say to a referee, ‘Look, can we get a quick look at that upstairs because we feel there’s a genuine case for us?’
“How you arrive at who makes that call is debatable. Should the captain during the course of a game have two or three occasions to do that? People who argue that would lead to more stoppages, we have bought into Hawk Eye and Hawk Eye could be called on 10 times in a game. I know it’s not but the possibility is there and we have accepted that.
“My argument, which I hold very strongly, is why not have a situation where we can spend 20 or 30 seconds looking at an incident where a team might have been wronged. We certainly will be framing a motion along the lines that technology be used.”
Cregan doesn’t believe such an initiative would undermine the authority of the referee but only assist the man in the middle.
“I’m not trying to open a can of worms whereby every decision by a referee is open to questioning. Not at all.
“Look, that (deflected sideline cut) was a season-ending incident if you want to argue that. When the incident occurred, some of our players were very much aware of what happened and others weren’t because it happened so fast.
“We saw the flight of the ball changing and some of our players did go to the referee and pleaded with him. I can recall Shane Dowling trying to get the referee’s attention before the ball was pucked out.
“Officials have a difficult job and anything along the lines of this can assist them. I also would say they don’t need to worry.
“Technology has advanced so much and the reasons we have so far bought into it are genuine, that teams aren’t wronged by a score being waved wide and we have rectified that in some grounds. I could see no reason why we couldn’t go that little step further and allow somebody have a second look.”
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