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Shane Dowling calls on GAA to bring in VAR for hurling

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

21:05 19 Aug 2019

Shane Dowling believes hurling needs to introduce a Video Assistant Referee.

VAR has been implemented at the highest level in soccer, while Television Match Officials also exist in rugby.

With more scrutiny on refereeing decisions, like in the All-Ireland final and semi-finals, Limerick hurler Dowling feels it can no longer be left to chance.

"It's about time the GAA start investing money in the likes of VAR and help both players and referees," he told us.

"Referees need help"

"Because there is so much effort and work going into this thing. Players are putting so much in. They're putting their lives on hold and decisions like that, I think referees need help and players need help.

"We're not getting paid for it and I know there was a debate on The Sunday GameĀ last night where they were saying, 'Ah, they should get VAR'. [But] it was kind of wishy-washy. They need to go away and do it. The money is there. Sort it out because referees are being hung, left right and centre and players are getting very upset with certain calls.

"I'm not talking about what happened at the end of the semi-final against us. This is going on now for years. Referees are being abused high up and low down on social media. I've no doubt they're getting hate mail, they're getting every sort of threats. You'll always have a referee to referee an All-Ireland hurling final. But you're not going to get referees for club games across the country unless they're being protected."

Dowling also shared a word on what it's like to work with Tipperary's All-Ireland winning manager Liam Sheedy.

Liam Sheedy

"I had Liam Sheedy in my first year in 2012 or '13, when I was on the Railway Cup team," he said of a "fantastic speaker" with huge "energy".

"Liam Sheedy at that time when the Railway Cup was slipping away and wasn't as important, I was just buzzing after him. You'd be jumping out of your skin for him. If that's what it was like over a team like that, I can only imagine what it's like for Tipperary. "

You can watch the full chat with Shane Dowling above via the video player.

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Hurling Kilkenny Limerick Off The Ball Shane Dowling Sport Tipperary VAR

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