Rebecca Welch to become first woman referee to take charge of men’s FA Cup third-round tie | Football News

Rebecca Welch is set to become the first female referee to direct the men’s FA Cup third round.

Welch will take charge of Birmingham City’s home game against Plymouth Argyle, which will be played at St Andrew’s on 8 January, as the first woman to referee at that stage of the competition.

She became the first female referee to be nominated for an English Football League match earlier this year.

Welch has refereed National League men’s games and elite women’s games, including the 2017 FA Cup final.

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Welch became the first woman to referee an EFL game on Easter Monday this year

In April, she took the lead in Harrogate Sky Bet League Two’s 2-0 home defeat to Port Vale and in the summer was named to the EFL national group list for men’s professional game.

Welch, 38, became a qualified referee in 2010 and continued her day job as an administrator in the NHS until two years ago.

Coventry shared St Andrew with Birmingham before returning to the Coventry Building Society Arena ahead of the season
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Birmingham’s match against Plymouth in the FA Cup third round takes place at St Andrew’s on 8 January

The officer, who hails from Tyne and Wear, also oversaw matches of the Women’s Super League and the Women’s 2020 Community Shield.

In December 2020, she was added to UEFA’s elite women’s list, joining other women’s football officials to referee international matches, including France’s Stephanie Frappart.

Amy Fearn was the first woman to referee a match on the FA Cup main draw when she oversaw Dover by beating Corby in the first round in 2013.

The 32 matches of the third round of this season’s competition will take place from 7-10 January.

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