By Mark Jones
DUBLIN — Cork football manager Larry Tompkins has launched a scathing attack on referee Michael Curley following his team’s recent loss to Kerry in the Munster semifinal. Tompkins described Curley’s decision to award two penalties as "scandalous" and he accused the referee of "robbing" Cork.
Writing in The Sunday Tribune, questioned Curley’s decision to give two penalties against Cork during the first half.
"You have to be sure when you’re awarding a penalty," he wrote. "There is no way he could have been sure about both penalties. I could understand him awarding one, but two is scandalous. I’m not saying they alone cost us the game, but they were major factors. In the second half I sensed he awarded us one or two soft frees. More bad refereeing."
At one stage during the Killarney game, Curley attempted to send Tompkins back to the dugout and informed Cork’s captain, Philip Clifford, that if his manager didn’t comply, he would abandon the game.
"At halftime I told him he was robbing us," wrote Tompkins. "He said nothing and instead got out his book. Once I saw that I left and just headed for the dressing room.
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"Since the game I’ve watched the video three times, and the penalty incidents over 20 times. . . . How can a referee award two penalties when he’s 40 yards away without consulting his umpires?
"I’m not bad loser. I’ve lost to Kerry many times before without raising a word of complaint. But in 21 years of being involved in senior intercounty football, I’ve never come across anything like last Sunday."
Tompkins also said that when he heard that Curley was due to referee the game instead of the injured Brendan Gorman, be believed it would be "disastrous" for Cork. Now in his fourth season as manager, Tompkins could be in a collision course with the GAA authorities following his comments.