Deterioration in discipline


IN his annual report to the Armagh convention, which takes place in Killeavey on Sunday county board secretary Padraig Og Nugent is scathing about what he calls "a marked deterioration in discipline on the football fields of Armagh".

He goes on to write: "The most startling fact is the increase in the number of cases of verbal abuse of match officials. This is a worrying development within our games and one which must be stopped immediately".

He goes on to illustrate, statistically, the deterioration of discipline from 1995 to 1996. In 1995, there were were 29 suspensions of two weeks duration while, in 1996, the number had increased to 42. The report also reveals that in 1995 there were just five suspensions of two months and in 1996 there were 21.

Other Armagh officials continue in the same vein. Youth officer Michael McGeeney reports: "While there are many excellent and sporting displays at youth level, there were far too many unsporting and unsavoury incidents. All must work together to improve the discipline at under-age level. Too many of our youth are driven away from our games because they have lost faith in the system.

"Furthermore the verbal abuse hurled at under-age players must cease immediately. Young players want to enjoy our games and all of us should make sure that we do everything in our power to ensure that they do."

. Meath manager, Sean Boylan, has hit out at journalists who continued to write about incidents which occurred during the replay of this year's All-Ireland football final long after the match.

Boylan said in Sligo that, while Meath took no credit for what happened, he could not understand why some journalists gave the incidents more coverage than a story from Zaire.

Something was missing and there was an imbalance when a row that lasted for only 25 seconds got so much coverage said Boylan.