Referees plan 'rock, paper, scissors' protest over suspended colleague

Rock, paper, scissors could be used by referees in protest at a colleague’s suspension.
Rock, paper, scissors could be used by referees in protest at a colleague’s suspension.

Referees are set to protest a suspension handed out to a colleague for using rock, paper, scissors to decide who would take the starting kick-off.

David McNamara was banned from officiating after he used the game in place of a coin toss having forgotten a coin to flip.

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The decision took place in the game between Manchester City and Reading, televised on 26 October this year. The decision broke the laws of the game.

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Speaking to BBC Sport, one anonymous official explained why he would be doing the same this weekend:

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

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

“I’ll have a coin just in case anyone is unhappy but I don’t see it being an issue. Rock, paper, scissors is an equally fair way of doing things.

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

More officials are likely to join in the protest by also using ‘RPS’ to start their won games, though it is not known exactly how many will follow through with the plan.


Keith Hackett, former referees’ boss, has complained to FA chief executive Martin Glenn over the decision to dish out a ban to McNamara.

“It’s an injustice. I think he has been treated very harshly,” said Hackett.

“He’s under time pressure and gone out to the middle and forgotten the coin. I know refs in a similar situation who put a whistle in one hand behind their back and said: ‘Which one?'”

While McNamara admitted a charge of “not acting in the best interests of the game” though has been surprised by the severity of the censure, a ban that runs for 21 days.

After the match, FA women’s refereeing manager Joanna Stimpson spoke to The Times, and branded his decision “very unprofessional” and “a moment of madness.”

 

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