In Brief

‘Rock, paper, scissors’ football referee suspended for three weeks by the FA

David McNamara forgot his coin for a Women’s Super League kick-off

A referee has been suspended for three weeks by the Football Association (FA) after a Women’s Super League (WSL) kick-off was decided with a game of rock, paper, scissors instead of a coin toss.

The BBC reports that David McNamara, who was officiating the WSL match between Manchester City and Reading on 26 October, left his coin in the dressing room. According to the laws of the game, “a coin toss to decide kick-offs is a requirement”.

An FA spokesperson said: “The FA can confirm that referee David McNamara has been suspended for 21 days, starting from Monday 26 November, after accepting a charge of ‘not acting in the best interests of the game’.

“This follows an incident in the FA WSL match between Manchester City and Reading on Friday 26 October when he failed to determine which team would kick off the match by the toss of a coin, as required by the laws of the game.”

The FA women’s refereeing manager Joanna Stimpson told The Times that she was disappointed by McNamara’s “moment of madness”.

“The referee forgot his coin and in that moment, in a TV game, he was really pushed for time, it was a moment of madness,” she said.

“He obviously thought it was the right thing to do, he probably walked away, or the second afterwards, thought it wasn’t the right thing to do.

“It’s not defendable. He should have been more prepared, he should have had a coin but he didn’t. It was disappointing, it’s not appropriate, it’s very unprofessional.

“The laws of the game state you toss a coin. I can’t think it’s something we are going to ignore. He wasn’t taking the mick out of the game, it was just a really poor decision.”

McNamara’s suspension will end on Sunday 16 December.

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