Rebecca Welch To Make History As Premier League's First Female Referee

The Premier League will have its first ever female referee when Rebecca Welch takes charge of Fulham against Burnley at Craven Cottage on December 23.

Dec 15, 2023 - 16:27
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Rebecca Welch To Make History As Premier League's First Female Referee

40-year-old Welch became a referee in 2010 and has hit some major milestones in recent years.

She officiated at the 2022 Women's European championships and 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Welch has also taken charge of men's games in the FA Cup and Championship.

In November, she became the first woman to act as a fourth official in the Premier League in the game between Fulham and Manchester United.

Additionally, Sam Allison will become the first black referee to officiate in the Premier League since 2008 when he takes charge of Sheffield United against Luton Town on Boxing Day.

Howard Webb, the head of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL), said: “Credit to them, they have delivered good performances in the Championship this season and deserve their opportunities due to their quality and the talent that they have.

“Of course, it’s significant in terms of Rebecca being the first female to take the whistle in the Premier League. She was the fourth official a few weeks ago for the first time, and we have lots of talented female officials working in the game.

“I just hope that other people will see the success of these female officials, young girls and young women, and think that refereeing might be for them.

“Sam, being the first black referee in the Premier League since Uriah Rennie back in 2008, again we know he has performed well in the Championship this year at a consistent level and we are confident he will deliver a strong performance.

“The profile of the game will serve as a role model for others in under-represented communities and that is undoubtedly a positive.

“We need greater diversity because undoubtedly there is quality in all communities and previously, for whatever reason, we have not been able to bring people through from those groups. And now it’s happening at last, thankfully.”