Call for umpires to be qualified referees

May 10, 2024

Referee Fergal Horgan. ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo.

Former All-Ireland SHC final referee Fergal Horgan has called for the introduction of a rule that would see at least one qualified referee umpiring at each goal.

His suggestion comes after a bizarre moment in last Saturday's Munster SHC clash between Waterford and Tipperary where referee James Owens ran across the eyeline of Tipp goalkeeper Barry Hogan just before Waterford's Stephen Bennett dispatched a third-minute penalty. Many believe the penalty would have been retaken if Owens' umpires had a bigger say.

"I think the time has come where we need to have at least one referee at each end umpiring," Horgan told Tipp FM.

"I know from my own refereeing, I had two former referees, one at each end. I had two referees at each end that knew the rules of the game inside out. Square balls or any infringements made inside the large parallelogram, according to the rules they can bring that to the attention of the referee if they think a foul has been committed.

"That was brought in at Congress a couple of years ago, so that is there for the referee and the umpires. But it's no good unless the umpire knows what the rules are.

"I think the day has come where we seriously need to look at having one inter-county referee, or former inter-county referee, at each end for matches."

Most Read Stories