Joe Brolly says lifetime bans should be considered to protect GAA umpires

GAA expert Joe Brolly said Roscommon’s GAA umpires were right to strike over the weekend and major organizational changes were needed to protect officers.

The strike action was called after an alleged attack on a referee at a underage game last week that made national headlines.

Mr. Brolly who is also a Sunday independent Columnist said the problem in the GAA is that “we see the arbiter as the enemy.”

Speaking of Indo Daily Podcast he called for far tougher sanctions for people who mistreat officers.

“The Roscommon referees were absolutely right to go on strike and not referee games until yesterday [Sunday],” he said.

“It would be wrong to say they are doing it because of this one incident. It is allowed. It’s an open season for referees.

“The GAA must act now, we cannot allow this to continue … I propose that if a player criticizes a decision or protests to an umpire in any way, that is an immediate red card and an immediate eight-week suspension.”

He added: “Any mentor who jostles and lays hands on a referee during the course of a match, that is a lifetime ban and similar rules should apply to spectators.”

In June, Galway footballers defeated Armagh on penalties in one of the most thrilling matches of the year. However, the spectacle was marred by a scuffle at the end of full-time.

Mr. Brolly said the “one in, all in culture” in the GAA is responsible for the dustiness and other similar things.

He argued it was time to ban teams, not individual players, in these cases.

“If a team is involved in a melee, they may need to consider banning that team altogether. Whether it’s a championship or not because we just can’t let it go on. It’s out of control,” he said. Joe Brolly says lifetime bans should be considered to protect GAA umpires

Fry Electronics Team

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