Using a coin toss to decide who reaches the next round of the Women’s FA Cup would be a “crazy idea”, says Birmingham City manager Carla Ward.
The Football Association is considering how best to settle ties in rounds two and three of a competition suspended because of coronavirus restrictions.
A coin toss and the drawing of lots are among the options being considered.
Kelly Simmons, the FA’s director of the women’s professional game, says a coin toss would be “the last option”.
Speaking to ITV Simmons stressed “the most important consideration in all of this is the players’ safety”.
“It might be the only way we can move through and get to the latter rounds,” she added. “There’s no great or simple solution.”
The second and third rounds of the competition are classed as ‘non-elite’ by the government and therefore cannot be played under current restrictions. Women’s Super League and Championship clubs enter at the fourth round.
“That can’t be genuine? I don’t buy it,” said Ward when asked about the idea of a coin toss. “I can’t see it happening. It’s a crazy idea.”
‘Nothing would surprise us now’
Baroness Sue Campbell, the Football Association’s director of women’s football, told BBC Sport: “We are in a pandemic and we are in a very serious place. As the FA, we have to protect the wellbeing of our players – whether they are grassroots or elite. That is our number one priority.
“We do not believe that either the testing, or the medical support, is there in those grassroots clubs to give us the surety that we would want that they would be safe.”
Manchester City were crowned 2019-20 Women’s FA Cup champions when they beat Everton 3-1 in extra-time in the final at Wembley – delayed until November due to coronavirus.
Everton boss Kirk said a coin toss decided which team was named home and away in that final but he “never, ever thought a game would be decided by that at this level”.
“If that’s the only way to do it, it’s the only way to do it. Nothing would surprise us right now because it’s such a strange time that we are in,” he added.
“It would be a shame for those clubs to lose an FA Cup game on a coin toss. They are obviously keen for the competition to be included this season unlike last season where we carried it over.
“I don’t know how much flexibility there is in the calendar but I feel there is a little bit of flexibility to wait a few weeks to see if we can get these games played. It’s a difficult one for the FA but obviously teams would be disappointed if they go down that route.”