Meet the Premier League's first female referee

EPL Female Referee

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Rebecca Welch will turn out to be the first female referee for a Premier League clash when she presides
Fulham's game against Burnley on 23 December.

Welch, 40, started refereeing in 2010, and in January turned into the first woman to referee a men’s
Championship game.

Referee Sam Allison will also take control of a top-flight match in December, turning him into the
Premier League's first black referee for 15 years.

Sam will officiate Sheffield United's match against Luton on 26 December.

The league's last black referee Uriah Rennie - withdrew from overseeing in English football's top
four divisions in 2009. Jarnail Singh the EFL's last non-white referee - withdrew
in 2010

These are essential moments for Rebecca and Sam, who are two officials of actual quality, referees'
chief Howard Webb told BBC Sport.

They merit their chance.

In July, the Football Association put down plans to enlist 50% more referees from historically
under-represented backgrounds by 2026, aiming a boost of 1,000 women referees
and 1,000 black or Asian referees at all stages of football in three years.

Now, 8% of Refereesare of black or Asian ethnicity, but only 3% in professional football. No black
or Asian referee has officiated a Premier League game since Rennie's final
match in 2008.

Ex firefighter Allison,who has beforehand spoken about cheering more officials from under-represented
backgrounds, was endorsed to the Football League in 2020 and was taken up to
the Championship in the early part of this year.

Rebecca has also officiatedin the Championship this year, and also officiating of Women's Super League and
Women's Champions League matches and officiating at the Women's World Cup in
Australia and New Zealand in the summer.

Rebecca was the firstwoman to officiate an FA Cup third-round match in 2022 after being included
to the EFL’s national list for men’s football which officiates both League
One and League Two fixtures.

She made record inNovember when she became the first woman to participate in the Premier League
in a refereeing ability, assuming the position of fourth official when
Manchester United beat Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage.

Welch has been bared to some big games and I am actually certain she will convey a game in the Premier
League and be a truly good model for women and girls to think officiating are
for them, - said Webb.

Allison merits his opportunity also. Perhaps that will provide as a role model for other young people who perhaps
earlier thought officiating might not be for them.

With a bit of luck they can show that officiating can be for anyone - if you have the love of the
game and the characters necessary, you can make it to the very peak.