English referees have backed David McNamara after the official was banned for using a game of rock, paper, scissors to decide who kicked off in a Women's Super League match.
McNamara was given a three-week suspension by the Football Association after forgetting to bring a coin onto the field of play for the Manchester City-Reading match. The official used the fun hand game with club captains Steph Houghton and Kirsty Pearce, but the decision was an infringement of the rules.
Frank Keogh of BBC Sport reported "hundreds" of grassroots referees have mimicked McNamara's offence in support of the official. Ref Support UK chief executive Martin Cassidy recognised the wide-ranging support.
"We can't condone anyone deliberately breaking the laws of football. 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."
TV presenter and rugby union referee, Nigel Owens, offered his opinion on Twitter:
Nigel Owens MBE @Nigelrefowens
A bit of common sense is needed surely. If both captains were happy to do it then why not. I did it with Blues v Ospreys and NZ v Barbarians on the request of the captain's. I obliged as a bit of fun is whats needed sometimes. Life is to short smile & have fun. #WorldsGoingMad https://t.co/0NAzI7muwZ
The coin toss is embedded in the laws of the sport. The referee was charged with not acting in the best interests of the game, leading to his 21-day ban.