The GAA has abandoned the experimental rules relating to yellow cards after the divisive motion was shot down by delegates at Congress in Cork on Saturday.
Motion 1, which had been widely debated over the last few months, failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to be passed into rule.
In the end, the motion fell just eight votes short, with 177 delegates voting in favor and 100 against from a total of 277 delegates.
The vote will come as a massive blow to the GAA’s Disciplinary Task Force, headed by Liam O’Neill, who had made presentations in all 32 counties urging their adaptation in the last number of weeks.
The motion put before the delegates called for the experiment that was utilized throughout the National Leagues to be carried through to the championship and to be adopted in the club game.
The motion sparked an emotional debate prior to the vote, with the early indications that it would be carried by a small minority.
A late motion, proposed by Wicklow and backed by Tipperary and Monaghan, calling for the rules not to apply in the club game and to be trialled in the 2009 Championship was rejected by Frank Murphy, the Cork Secretary, who said that different sets of rules for the club and inter-county game “won’t work.”
The outgoing President said experimentation in the Championship was not “appropriate”.
Dessie Farrell, the GPA chief executive, spoke out against the experimental rules, insisting inter-county players, particularly hurlers, were against the changes.
Farrell said the real problem with indiscipline is at club level and that the rules would be too hard to implement.
Derry’s Seamus McCloy – who went against the trend of the Ulster counties – spoke out in favor of change, while Tyrone’s Pat Darcy insisted that there were more than enough sanctions in the old rules to deal with indiscipline, adding that the problem was with refereeing.
Several other delegates, including those from Kildare and the European County Board, gave impassioned speeches urging those present to vote in favor of the motion.
It was agreed prior to the vote that bans for yellow card offences would not carry over.
Liam O’Neill addressed the room once more, urging that it was time to “stop ranting about the problem and time to do something about the solution.”
However, after a tense tally of votes, the disappointment was etched on the faces of those at the top table, after it emerged that the motion had fallen short of being passed by just eight votes.
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