Rebecca Welch To Become First Female To Officiate A Premier League Clash

Rebecca Welch To Become First Female To Officiate A Premier League Clash
Emily Laycock
Emily Laycock

Rebecca Welch with make history on 23 December when she becomes the first female referee to take charge of a Premier League fixture as Fulham host Burnley.

The 40-year-old has been refereeing since 2010 and has become a role model for women and girls, showcasing that change within football is happening, and rightly so.

This year, alongside being a regular Women’s Super League referee, Welch officiated in the Women’s Champions League and at the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

In the men’s game, she made history in April 2021 when she refereed a Championship game for the first time.

She was then added to the EFL’s national list for men’s football in 2022 that oversees League One and League Two fixtures, leading to her becoming the first woman to take charge of an FA Cup third-round tie in the same year.

Welch became the first female to officiate in a Premier League match last month as a fourth official during Manchester United’s 1-0 victory at Craven Cottage.

However, Welch’s journey has not all been smooth-sailing with many obstacles in her way as a female breaking into the male-dominated industry that is football.

She has been the subject of abuse with two teenagers arrested on suspicion of targeting Welch with “misogynistic chanting” the Championship fixture between Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday.

The English referee belongs to the development group of officials fast-tracked by Professional Game Match Officials Limited to help improve the quality of refereeing in the four top divisions in England.

Professional Game Match Officials Limited head of referees, Howard Webb said: "Rebecca has been exposed to some big games and I am really confident she will deliver a game in the Premier League and be a really good model for women and girls to think refereeing is for them.”

Another successful year for Rebecca Welch with another historic moment to be added to her already trailblazing career.

 

Rebecca Welch IMAGE/PA Images/Bradley Collyer
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