Women’s football took a hard knock this week
It’s one thing to lose the final game in the Championship by just one excruciating point, but it’s quite another to know that when the final whistle blew, you had missed out on a crucial point that should have been awarded.
The point was scored by Dublin player Carla Rowe, but the umpire called it wide and ultimately Cork took their sixth all-Ireland in a row with a scoreline of 1-7 to 1-6.
The Hawk-Eye system used to verify disputed scores in the men’s game is not in use for Ladies Gaelic Football. It was claimed last year that Hawk-Eye would need to be recalibrated to cater for the smaller ball, but surely that could have been done easily enough. Especially as Hawk-Eye is used for camogie with no great difficulty.
After the women’s final, a spokesperson for the LGFA said that the option to implement Hawk-Eye in Ladies Football, went before central council but was not accepted on the grounds that not every pitch in the country has Hawk-Eye and that it would therefore ‘not be a level playing field’ for all teams.
We asked our Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Smartphone panel – Should Hawk-Eye (the camera-based points detection system) which is used for the men’s All Ireland football final also be used in the women’s All Ireland football final? (currently it is not) The results were overwhelming – 94 per cent said yes, 2 per cent said no and 4 per cent don’t know.
So it seems that almost everyone sees that it is simply not fair to downgrade the female sport by not using the same technology in the final as the men get. Women footballers (and let’s call them women, not ‘ladies’), deserve the same status as men, they train just as hard, they perform to the same standards. It has been claimed by more knowledgeable people than me in the GAA commentariat, that Dublin would not have won that game even with that missing point, but that misses the point. If you want people to support the women’s game and for young girls to come on board as players, then treat them in the same way as the men.
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