THE GAA’S DECISION today to give referees the power to issue a red card for racist and sectarian offences committed by players, has been praised by the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
Today’s GAA Congress at Croke Park saw Motion 60 passed by a huge majority by delegates as it received 95.5% of the vote.
The wording of the motion permits referees to brandish a red card if a player should ’act by deed, word or gesture of a racist, sectarian or anti inclusion/diversity nature against an opponent’.
The decision has been welcomed by the Immigrant Council of Ireland. The Council says the overwhelming vote and rule change is an important step in efforts to end complacency around racism, according to their chief executive Denise Charlton.
“As an organisation which reaches every community in Ireland the GAA has a responsibility to ensure that racism does not happen in all its clubs and grounds.
“GAA players are sporting icons for our young people and by taking a stand against racism they are setting an example which should be followed in school and other lower level games.
“In particular we believe that introducing a red card offence with bans of eight weeks or more sends out a strong message. It is important in the coming months that the impact of the new rule is kept under review to ensure it provides a robust response to any incidents.”