Munster GAA chief calls for action on cynical fouls in hurling

Munster GAA secretary Kieran Leddy has called for action to be taken against cynical fouling in hurling.

Last-ditch tackles, playing the man rather than the ball, were prevalent during the 2020 All-Ireland Hurling Championship.

Last February, a motion to introduce a Gaelic football-style black card was heavily defeated at the GAA’s annual Congress, with 82 per cent of delegates opposing its introduction.

Although there is little appetite for a sin-bin to be introduced, the concept of a penalty being awarded for cynical fouls which deny goal-scoring opportunities has also been floated.

Speaking in Munster GAA’s annual report, Leddy stressed the need for action, after a championship campaign which saw numerous cynical fouls.

“There is a debate at present as to whether cynicism exists in the game of hurling and at a level that warrants action by way of new rules,” he wrote.

“There can be no doubt that there were some tackles of a cynical nature in this year’s championship, and these tackles denied clear scoring opportunities.

“The number of them is irrelevant in my view. It is important that the association deals with this question now, as opposed to take a ‘wait and see’ approach.

“It is not a question of living with it if it is only a few incidents here and there. If a cynical tackle confers an advantage to the team of the player that commits the foul, it is unfair.

“Cynical fouling needs to be discussed in that context.”

Social media abuse

Meanwhile, Leddy also took time to address online abuse – an issue raised by Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald in recent weeks, after messages were directed at his father Pat, who is secretary of Clare GAA.

“I was saddened to read about the level of abuse on social media platforms directed at one of the province’s longest serving GAA administrators, Pat Fitzgerald of Contae An Chláir, and his family,” noted Leddy.

“The Fitzgerald family have given years of service to the association at club and county level. I know Pat for many years as a very hard working and dedicated GAA administrator, who goes well beyond the call of duty. The abuse is a cowardly act by the perpetrators.

“There is no doubt, that, while social media has its positive points, the unfettered ability of people, often acting behind pseudonyms, to direct sustained and vile abuse at individuals and organisations, is undoubtedly a major downside. The negative effects of this are well documented. “

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