"It is messing around with the game"

May 17, 2021

Roscommon goalkeeping coach Dara Brun, selector Mark Dowd and manager Anthony Cunningham after the defeat to Dublin ©INPHO/James Crombie

Roscommon manager Anthony Cunningham says the new rule to award a penalty for a cynical foul is "messing around with the game".

The Rossies fell to a nine-point defeat yesterday at the hands of Dublin in a game which saw the All-Ireland champions awarded three penalties.

Roscommon were also forced to play for 20 minutes with 14 men after Brian Stack and Fergal Lennon were sin-binned in either half, leaving them with a mountain to climb against the Dubs.

“I can’t give out about the referee but I can give out about the guys who made that rule,” Cunningham is quoted saying by The42.ie . “I don’t think it was needed in the game. I think the rules committee is trigger happy to be changing the rules every year.

“I don’t think there was a need in the game. It was harsh as well. The rule is if you have no players back but I definitely think we did in two instances. Look, it is unfair. It is messing around with the game.

“I am also reliably told that there isn’t a top-class referee on the rules committee, which is startling, and certainly nobody in inter-county coaching asked. We weren’t certainly asked.

“It’s wrong. It’s wrong. What do you expect the referee to do? They are the rules.

“That would be my view of course, but on two occasions I thought there was plenty of players back and I don’t think that rule, it possibly could be in hurling but not in football.

“I don’t think the reason for those two penalties there today.”

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