Sam Allison and Rebecca Welch make Premier League refereeing history

Sam Allison and Rebecca Welch make Premier League refereeing history

History was made in recent Premier League games as England’s top division had two major refereeing milestones.

The Premier League had its first-ever female referee and only the second-ever black referee taking charge of football matches.

Sam Allison becomes the second black referee in Premier League history

Sam Allison officiated Sheffield United’s Boxing Day match against Luton Town, becoming the first black referee to do so in the Premier League in fifteen years.

Sam Allison is the second black Premier League referee in history
Sam Allison is the second black Premier League referee in history

In addition, he becomes the second-ever black referee in Premier League history, joining Uriah Rennie, who last officiated a game in the top division in 2008.

Allison made history in 2020 by becoming the first black official in the top four levels of English football. He was then promoted to the Championship at the start of the 2023-24 season.

His first taste of Premier League action came as a fourth official during Brighton‘s 4-1 victory over Chelsea in October 2022, and now he gets the chance to referee a top-flight game.

Luton Town emerged 3-2 winners away at Sheffield United and Sam Allison presided over that game as the centre referee in the boxing day fixture.

Rebecca Welch becomes the first female referee in Premier League history

Rebecca Welch made history on Saturday, December 23 when she became the first woman to referee a Premier League fixture by officiating Burnley’s 2-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Welch began officiating in 2010 while working for the NHS, and in 2019 she was hired as a full-time official.

Welch became the first female referee in the Championship when she officiated a men’s match in January.

Rebecca Welch is the first female referee in Premier League history
Rebecca Welch is the first female referee in Premier League history

A month after acting as the fourth official during Fulham’s 1-0 Premier League loss to Manchester United, she made her way back to Craven Cottage.

In 2022, Welch became the first female match official in the FA Cup third round after being added to the EFL’s national men’s football list, which manages League One and League Two matches.

In the Women’s Super League, the referee, who hails from Washington in Tyne and Wear, has been a model for English officials.

Before officiating at the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in the summer, she was admitted to Fifa’s elite list of international match officials in December 2020, demonstrating the recognition that her work has received on a global scale.

 

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