Grassroots referees ditch the coin in support of David McNamara

Hundreds of grassroots referees across the country opted to play rock, paper, scissors with captains last weekend to support David McNamara following his 21-day suspension.

McNamara was handed the suspension after using rock, paper, scissors to decide kick-off in the Women’s Super League match between Manchester City and Reading on 26 October.

A coin toss to decide kick-offs is required under the laws of the game, but a coin is not listed under equipment the referee is required to have.

One grassroots referee in his late 20s, who wouldn’t give his name, said: “Could he have spoken to somebody in the crowd, one of the managers?

“All you need is a 2p coin, and yes he probably could. But three weeks for not doing that seems excessive.”

The Football Association charged McNamara with “not acting in the best interests of the game”.

His suspension comes into effect on Monday, 26 November and lasts until Sunday 16 December.

“It’s not difficult,” said Adam Mcanoy, another grassroots referee.

“If he needs a coin he should really go to get himself one. He’s gone through so many matches in his career remembering a coin every single time, I find it surprising that on the one occasion you [don’t], you’re in the top flight of women’s football.”