Referee banned for using rock/paper/scissors backed by 100s of officials

The referee banned for using rock/paper/scissors to decide kickoff has been backed after hundreds of fellow officials got in on the act.

Referees across grassroots matches in England used rock/paper/scissors ahead of their games after ref David McNamara was banned for using that method before a Women's Super League match. McNamara was suspended for three weeks by the Football Association.

"A lot of us were thinking of David," referee Ryan Hampson told BBC Sport. "We wanted to show solidarity."

Hampson said players had requested rock/paper/scissors before he took control of the match in Lancashire.

"Without me saying a word, four players came up to me and said: 'Are we getting on the rock/paper/scissors today?' as they had seen coverage of the issue," he said.

Law 8 states that before 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."

"We can't condone anyone deliberately breaking the laws of football," Ref Support UK chief executive Martin Cassidy said. "However, we understand hundreds took part.

"The level of support should send out a message that the punishment was disproportionate. This suggests people are willing to face a possible charge from the FA or their county FA as they feel so strongly about it."

However, not everyone is behind this heart-warming act of solidarity.

"Two wrongs don't make a right. Referees are law-enforcers and not law-breakers," a Southern Sunday League spokesperson told the BBC. "This action is unprofessional, and it brings the game into disrepute.

"Doing this due to a forgotten coin is one thing, but this is a step too far."