Rebecca Welch first woman to referee in English men’s league

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An English men’s skilled league recreation can have a feminine referee for the first time when Rebecca Welch takes cost of the fourth tier fixture between Harrogate and Port Vale on Monday.

“Initially I wasn’t really aware of it being appointed as the first female referee,” Welch mentioned on Tuesday.

“I was just given the appointment and I was over the moon but when you kind of reflect on it, you think, you’re the first woman ever to do this, so I’m extremely proud and my family’s extremely proud as well.”

The English Football League runs the three divisions under the Premier League, together with League Two the place Welch will officiate Monday’s recreation.

“I’m really excited. This is what I’ve been working towards, and being given this opportunity to work in the EFL is amazing for me,” Welch mentioned.

“I do assume it’s necessary to present that girls who’re in the highest 1% of their class can proceed to the subsequent degree so it positively makes others lookup and know that they will obtain the identical.

“It shows that there is a real opportunity for young girls who are wondering if they are ready to take the whistle or are already referees. They can aspire to be an EFL referee or like Sian Massey-Ellis operating (as a referee’s assistant) in the Premier League.”

The 37-year-old Welch refereed the 2017 Women’s FA Cup last.

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