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Women's Super League

Ref suspended for swapping coin toss for "rock, paper, scissors"

The English FA has put David McNamara in the fridge for three weeks after he improvised kick-off formalities after forgetting the official coin.

David Mcnamara, durante el transcurso de una partido.

David McNamara has paid a costly price after forgetting to pocket the official FA coin ahead of a Women’s Super League game and electing to perform the choice of ends with an impromptu game of rock, paper, scissors instead.

The Football Association has suspended McNamara for three weeks over the incident, which took place before the fixture between Manchester City and Reading. Having left the official FA coin in his dressing room, the match official took the unusual step of inviting the captains of both sides, Steph Houghton, who also wears the armband for England, and Kirsty Pearce, into a quick round of the children’s game to decide who would elect which half to start from.

FA refereeing chief: "It was a moment of madness"

England captain Steph Houghton (r).
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England captain Steph Houghton (r).CRAIG BROUGHAction Images via Reuters

Described as “a moment of madness” by FA women’s refereeing manager Joanna Stimpson, who was also commentating on the game, it appears that rather than rush back to his dressing room for the coin, McNamara came up with the idea to ensure the game kicked off on time. “It’s not defendable,” Stimpson added. “He should have been better prepared. It’s not very professional. The rules state that there should be a coin toss. I don’t think it’s something we can just ignore.”

Amid criticism of the level of refereeing in women’s football in England in general, McNamara’s latest controversy comes after the match official last month produced just a yellow card for a tackle by Chelsea’s Drew Spence that broke the leg of Arsenal’s Kim Little, ruling the Scotland international out for 10 weeks.


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