/ GAA

Davy Fitzgerald: Hurling needs two referees

Updated: Thursday, 01 May 2014 12:55 | Comments

Davy Fitzgerald feels the introduction of a second referee to hurling matches would improve the game
Davy Fitzgerald feels the introduction of a second referee to hurling matches would improve the game

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald has told the Irish Examiner that hurling would be better served by having two referees.

The 2013 All-Ireland-winning manager believes that the pace of the modern game means getting adequate coverage of the pitch is not guaranteed through one referee.

Fitzgerald also said that players were getting ‘mangled’ without the referee seeing incidents.

“With the way the game is moving, maybe is it time to look at a second ref at the other side of the field? It’s very hard to cover the ground.

“They say that their umpires aren't allowed talk to them or whatever the story is. You sometimes see backs mangling forwards and the umpire can’t see it.

"I remember we had a game: our full-back was held by a forward.

"He pulled his helmet down. My man grabbed onto him after that because he was blinded and it was a penalty.

"But the first instance wasn't seen and how was the ref to see it - he was maybe 60 yards away?

“It’s very hard, with the speed of our game, for the referee to be up and down and not be allowed talk to his umpires.”

“Maybe is it time to look at a second ref at the other side of the field?" - Davy Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald also believes that during the recent Allianz Hurling League campaign referees were too quick to whistle for frees and that his own side were dealt with harshly by the GAA officials.

"I would just say to them, you don’t have to blow for everything and anything. I thought in the league we dished out yellow cards pretty handy. Just let it go — once you’re not favouring one team, that’s fine," said Fitzgerald.

"There was one thing that bothered me and the statistics will back it up. One game we played, there were 16 scoreable frees given inside midfield to the opposition and we got seven.

"That couldn't be right. I know when I looked back at the game afterwards, I saw nearly the same examples where we could have got frees. Referees will say they were frees but we can say there were examples on our side of the same thing and you didn't give them."

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