rebecca welch makes history as english premier league’s 1st female referee
In a huge win for women’s rights, Rebecca Welch is set to create history by becoming the first female referee ever to take charge of an English Premier League match on 23 December.
Rebecca Welch is an English football referee. In 2021, she was appointed to referee a League Two match between Harrogate Town and Port Vale. This year, she became the first woman to be appointed to referee an English Football League match. She made history in November as the first woman to be appointed a fourth official in the Premier League.
Howard Webb, an English former professional football referee who officiated primarily in the Premier League from 2003 to 2014, said, “I am really confident she (Rebecca Welch) will deliver a game in the Premier League and be a really good role model for women and girls.”
Who is Rebecca Welch?
Rebecca Welch has been refereeing since 2010. Previously, she worked in the National Health Service, the publicly funded healthcare system in England. Later on, she became a full-time football referee.
She had played football from a young age. She studied to be a referee with Durham County Football Association, the governing body of football in the historic county of Durham.
Rebecca Welch has officiated at games in the Women’s Super League and the 2017 and 2020 Women’s FA Cup Finals. Since 2019, she has refereed at several men’s National League matches. Last year, she became the first woman to officiate a third round men’s FA Cup match.
Earlier this year, FIFA (Fédération internationale de football association) appointed her to the officiating pool for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
She is appointed to officiate a fixture between Fulham and Burnley on 23 December 2023.
In another win for human rights, Sam Allison is set to become the first Black referee in 15 years to oversee a Premier League match, PGMOL, English football’s refereeing body.