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Opinion: Criticism of Gough’s appointment unwarranted & unjust

In just over a fortnight’s time, Dublin will take on Kerry in the All-Ireland Football final looking to become the first Senior male team to complete a five-in-a-row.

Fittingly, their opponents, almost became the first team to do so until Seamus Darby’s last hour goal secured the All-Ireland in 1982 for Offaly at the expense of Kerry.

GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park. Dublin 11/8/2019 Kerry vs Tyrone Kerry’s David Clifford and manager Peter Keane celebrate after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Kerry will come into the game as huge underdogs, with the Dubs undefeated in 35 championship games since they were beaten by Donegal in the 2014 All-Ireland semi-final.

Kerry’s last championship win against Dublin came in 2009. Since then they have been beaten by the Capital side in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 with a pair of those games an All-Ireland final.

Dublin’s imperious second-half display against Mayo has most people writing off the possibility of a Kerry upset with Jim Gavin’s side overwhelming against the Connacht side while Kerry flattered to deceive against Tyrone the following day.

However, amidst the hype for the game, one man has come under huge scrutiny although he may not even be involved.

Referee David Gough has been announced as the man in the middle for the decider.

However, the decision to reward Gough with the game has been met with some criticism in Kerry quarters with the Meath native currently working in Dublin.

The idea that Gough shouldn’t referee the game because he is living in Dublin is nonsense.

Meath and Dublin have one of the most storied rivalries in all of the GAA, yet there is a concern in Kerry that the Meath man will favour the Dubs just because he is making a living there.

Dublin is the capital of Ireland and home to over a million people. As such people from all corners of the world travel there in search of employment.

Now there are attempts to block Gough from reaching the pinnacle of his sporting profession all because he moved to the capital to teach.

Regardless of who the referee is, if Dublin play to anywhere near their best then they could very well destroy Kerry in a manner that they have done to so many teams over the years.

If that is to happen, no referee will make any difference to the narrative.

This was echoed on ‘Off the Ball’ where it was stated that even the Healy-Rae’s couldn’t help Kerry on the biggest day of the football year.

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