Referee suspended after using rock, paper, scissors instead of coin toss to determine kickoff

Soccer official David McNamara realized he had forgotten to bring a coin with him onto the field before a recent Women’s Super League game between Manchester City and Reading.

So instead of the using a coin toss to determine which side would kick off, as required by rule, McNamara had the captains of the two teams play an impromptu game of rock, paper, scissors.

McNamara might have thought he had come up with a clever solution to his dilemma, but his bosses didn’t seem to agree. English Football Assn. women’s refereeing manager Joanna Stimpson called it “a moment of madness.”

In response to the Oct. 26 incident, the FA has suspended McNamara for 21 days, from Nov. 26 to Dec. 17. The FA told the BBC that McNamara “accepted a charge of ‘not acting in the best interests of the game.’ ”


According to Law 8 of FIFA’s Laws of the Game, “before a kick-off at the start of the match or extra time a coin is tossed and the team that wins the toss decides which goal it will attack in the first half of the match.”

In this case, Stimpson told the London-based Times, “the referee forgot his coin and in that moment, in a TV game, he was really pushed for time.

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


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