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‘Time to mic up refs’ — Marc O Se

Former Kerry star Marc O Se is calling for big changes to be made to improve officiating in the Gaelic football

Former Kerry star Marc O Se is calling for big changes to be made to improve officiating in the GAA.

Former Kerry star Marc O Se is calling for big changes to be made to improve officiating in the GAA.

Speaking to OurGame, the 2007 footballer of the year believes that having a referee’s microphone hooked up to the TV stations can only improve the standards of officiating in the game.

“You see it in rugby where the referee is mic’d up and there’s a lot of communication.

“I think that the referee needs to be mic’d up with the TV cameras because what you’ll have then is an improvement in standards.

“You’ll have a referee who’ll talk and tell players what they’re doing wrong and the referee is going to up his game and also make sure his officials are going to up their game, there’s an onus on all of them, they’re a team.

“For me, that’s very important, there’s no reason why that can’t be done, it’s something the GAA should really look at.”

O Se points to the success of this in the 2015 All-Ireland final between Kerry and Dublin where referee David Coldrick was mic’d up for the All-Ireland Day documentary.

O Se believes having the referee mic’d up leads to more communication which is better for players:

“David was really articulate in his language and telling people why it was a free. That’s really important in terms of officiating.

“If there’s a corner back who fouls a player but the referee gives a free but doesn’t explain why, that leads to frustration in a player whereas if the referee says ‘No, you actually pulled there’, the player is likely to say ‘fair enough ref.”

While O Se believes that referee’s generally get it right, another criticism he levels relates to how officials handle situations where players are being targeted by opposing teams.

Kerry’s David Clifford was sent off in a league game against Tyrone earlier this year following an incident with Ben McDonnell.

Clifford is likely to be singled out by teams again, especially after his performances in this year’s Kerry football championship, and O Se believes that referees need to be aware that players like Clifford will be targeted:

“There’s an onus on all officials to be mindful that there are certain players that are going to get close attention.

“The big thing for me is, the instigator will start it and unfortunately the other player will get involved, but the instigator needs to be severely penalised and punished.”

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