Whelan: Players must adapt to black card system
Updated: Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 11:11
Former Dublin midfielder and current international rules selector Ciarán Whelan has warned footballers that they must adapt to the new black card system rather than complain over its introduction into the sport.
Whelan told RTÉ Sport: “I think there is a grey area around the black card.
“I think the reason a lot of the players have come out against this is because they don’t have trust in the interpretation.
“We’re going to need a very clear interpretation of what is a deliberate foul and what is an accidental foul – a genuine attempt to play the ball.
However Whelan did warn that players have not always had faith in the system and the consistency of referees.
“We’ve seen in the past when a yellow card in February is not a yellow card in August.
"I know congress has tried hard to define what a cynical foul is and what accidental fouls are and define what the tackle is and that’s all fine, definitions are fine, but in practice it’s all very, very different.
"They [the players] don’t have the trust that the referees will be able to implement it.
“We are where we are. The rule changes have been made so there’s going to have to be a change in the mindset from the players’ perspective; they’ve no choice in this matter, whether we agree with it or disagree with it.
“It’s going to be a challenging period for the GAA to communicate this change and players are going to have to buy into it unfortunately.”
Whelan also admitted that there is a problem with cynical play in the sport, but that the black card is possibly not the best way to combat it.
He admitted cynical play is becoming systematic. "If you sit down and watch games every weekend there is a problem there.
“The black card wouldn’t have been my preference. I probably would have preferred a punishment on the scoreboard – a free from 21 yards" - Ciarán Whelan
“The black card wouldn’t have been my preference. I probably would have preferred a punishment on the scoreboard – a free from 21 yards."
The former Dublin midfielder also feels that the black card could be extremely hard to implement at club level.
“I think there would have been easier ways to administrate it at club and county level," he said.
“But we are where we are, so it’s educating the players to deal with this going forward. There’s no going back at this stage. It’s a democratic congress – over two-thirds voted it in.
“I think at club level it’s going to be particularly difficult. I think it’s going to create awful problems.
“We will adapt and change at county level, but at club level is going to be significantly more difficult.
"We have to be able to separate the county game from the club game, and if there is small rules that you can adapt to the county game that are workable at the county situation, but won’t work at club levels, we have to be open to doing that.”