Rebecca Welch to make history as Premier League’s first female referee

Rebecca Welch will take charge of Fulham vs Burnley on 23 December

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Rebecca Welch is set to make history as the Premier League’s first female referee.

The 40-year-old will take charge of Fulham’s game against Burnley at Craven Cottage on 23 December.

Welch began officiating in 2010 and became the first women to oversee a men’s Championship game in January.

Sam Allison, meanwhile, will be the first Black referee to take charge of a game in the English top flight for 15 years having been appointed to the Boxing Day encounter between Sheffield United and Fulham.

Welch, born in Washington in Tyne and Wear, came through the Durham County FA and was the fourth official for Manchester United’s visit to Fulham in November.

She was part of the officiating panel at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Allison — like Welch, part of PGMOL’s Select Group 2 — will be the Premier League’s first Black lead official since Uriah Rennie.

Sam Allison will take charge of Sheffield United vs Fulham

Rennie officiated in the competition for 11 years, taking charge of his final fixture in 2008.

The 42-year-old Allison played for Swindon, Bristol City, Bournemouth and Exeter.

“I love football so much; it’s in my blood and it’s innate,” he said earlier this year. “I’d do anything to be involved in the game. Unfortunately, I didn’t reach the pinnacles as a football player but hopefully one day I can do it as a referee.”

Allison has taken charge of more than 100 matches in the English Football League.

Elsewhere, Chris Kavanagh will take charge of the top-of-the-table clash between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday 23 December.

The referee also oversaw Liverpool’s recent 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

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