Kevin McStay warns of mayhem if black card not defined

Updated: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 17:39 | Comments

The black card has been one of the main talking points of the Gaelic games season thus far
The black card has been one of the main talking points of the Gaelic games season thus far

How referees police the black card will be crucial in the upcoming football championship, according to RTÉ pundit Kevin McStay.

McStay, who starred with Mayo in the 1980s, has warned that the summer fare could descend into mayhem unless referees adopt a more consistent approach in issuing cards.

He also claimed that during this current league campaign there were several cynical fouls that were not punished with a black card.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport’s League Sunday Extra, he said: “The championship is the acid test for the black card.

"The extra cameras and attention on games will have a bearing. 

"The debate will turn very quickly to ‘why weren’t black cards issued? 'Why are yellows cards being distributed issued in lieu of black cards?’

"That will be the big challenge for officials. So much as they can, they will have to standardize and get consistency in the decisions they make. Indecisive refereeing will not be acceptable."

"The championship is the acid test for the black card" - Kevin McStay

McStay did add that he was an advocate of the black card and referenced a change in emphasis, as deployed by Mayo and Derry in last Sunday’s League semi-final.

“During the Derry v Mayo game I thought defences tightened up a small bit. There were a lot more bodies behind the ball that I had seen in previous matches," he added.

“Looking ahead teams will tighten up a bit more. In saying that, you can’t stop the speedsters.

"You can’t mark pace. If they run at the heart of your defence you can’t drag them down. If you do, you’ll be heading for the dressing room." 

The view that forwards have made hay following the introduction of the black card is a view shared by fellow RTÉ analyst Tomás Ó Sé. 

He stated: “My own personal view with the black card is that players are half afraid to commit to serious challenges.

"Those players that are well able to run like Darran O’Sullivan, Mark Lynch and Paul Kerrigan will attack a lot more.

"If they are taken down, there is a strong possibility a black card will be shown.
“It will be interesting to see whether teams will drop one or two more players back come championship. So far in this league, we haven’t seen too many packed defences."

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