David McNamara: Preston official’s ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ ban “laughable” says fellow referee

A referee has branded the decision to suspend an official for using a game of ‘rock, paper, scissors’ in place of a coin toss as “laughable”.

Dan Ford is the latest in a number of referees to criticise David McNamara’s three-week ban, after former top official Keith Hackett also called the ruling “draconian”.

McNamara, who refereed Preston North End’s pre-season friendly against AFC Fylde, accidentally left his coin in the dressing room ahead of the WSL fixture between Manchester City and Reading on 26 October.

The laws of the game state that a coin toss is required to decide kick-offs.

He accepted a charge of ‘not acting in the best interests of the game’ and was given a 21-day ban.

Fellow referee Ford has sympathy for the Preston-based official and thinks the ban is unfair.

He said: “Personally I’ve experienced the same situation in which I’ve forgotten my coin and have improvised.

“I think the ban is utterly absurd; he was only using his initiative and anyway winning the coin toss is now fairly irrelevant.

“In a country where we struggle for referees, to ban him for that is quite frankly laughable.”

Referees at some grassroots matches this weekend are expected to use a game of ‘rock, paper, scissors’ instead of a coin toss in support of McNamara.

Speaking to BBC Sport, one Derbyshire-based referee explained why he would use ‘rock, paper, scissors’ at the start of a junior match this weekend.

He said: “I will be doing it to show support. It will probably serve as a light-hearted way to introduce myself to both captains.

“Others will do so as well but not admit it publicly for fear of reprimand.

“The suspended ref has shown initiative and thought quickly on his feet. The whole thing is a bit ridiculous and massively out of proportion.”