Galway forward Shane Walsh thinks TMO could work in GAA

Galway GAA Shane Walsh TMO

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Galway senior footballer Shane Walsh believes that a television match official (TMO), as seen in rugby, could be used in Gaelic sports.

The TMO is someone who watches the match action on a television screen outside of the ground and informs the referee of anything they may have missed or helps to make a tough decision easier through the use of replays from different angles.

Walsh went down in the 27th minute of the Connacht final after an off-the-ball collision with Padraig O’Hora.

The centre forward was able to continue after a painkiller injection before the second half but O’Hora went unpunished for his actions and the Galwegian’s let their five-point lead slip.

The 28-year-old believes that the introduction of a TMO could prevent refereeing mistakes such as this from occurring and stop Gaelic football’s dive into cynicism.

Speaking at the launch of the John West Féile 50th anniversary celebrations, the Two-time JJ Nestor Cup winner said: “No one was coached how to play football that way.

“When you were coached how to tackle, it’s tackling the ball, you’re staying on your feet, you’re trying to turn them to their weaker side.

“They’re the elements of defending, it’s not the kind of things you see going on in a game.

“That’s only one incident. Numerous incidents go on in games. It needs to be cut out. You have young kids seeing that, and if they see that kind of carry-on, they do the exact same thing.

“In cases like that, we need to provide supports to the referees. They’re not going to see everything that happens.

“I just believe that could definitely be something that could be looked at, the TMO side of things or something to that effect, where there’s an extra eye watching what’s going on in the game.

“That is the biggest thing, that would cut out the cynicism that’s in the game at the moment.”

In 2013, the GAA introduced HawkEye to games held at Croke Park when Kildare faced Offaly in a Leinster championship clash following a trial period.

The technology has been a success since being introduced and is currently available in three stadiums across Ireland – Croke Park, Semple Stadium and Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

HawkEye, like Walsh’s TMO suggestion, was present in other sports such as tennis previous to its introduction to the Gaelic games.

The introduction of a TMO could help the referee to focus on maintaining the fluidity of a game with the safety net of an extra eye on the game installed so that they can be informed of anything they missed.

Walsh believes that a TMO could help improve the sport further on top of Proposal B, which he supports.

“We need to adapt to it, and you need to provide supports to the referees. They’re not going to see everything that happens.

“I just believe that could definitely be something that could be looked at, the TMO side of things or something to that effect, where there’s an extra eye watching what’s going on in the game.

“If something happens in the game, they buzz the referee. If they want a camera on the side of the pitch, but it should be another referee looking after it, saying to the match referee, ‘look, I spotted an off-the-ball incident, we’re in black card territory. You can look at it if you want, but I’d be saying black card’.

“And then the ref goes and makes that call. Simple as. That way then, if that happens more, it would cut out the kind of stuff that goes on off the ball.”

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