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The RA of the Future

Rebecca Welch is the Football Association's highest-ranking female referee (Image: Rex Features)
Rebecca Welch will become the first female referee to take charge of an FA Cup third round tie when Birmingham City face Plymouth Argyle on 8 January.

Welch became the first woman to referee an English Football League game in April when Port Vale played Harrogate in League Two.She was subsequently added to the EFL's national list for men's football.The 37-year-old also refereed Barrow's 4-0 win at non-league Banbury in the first round of this season's FA Cup. Welch, from Washington, Tyne and Wear, is one of several female officials working in the men's game - a list that also includes Premier League assistant Sian Massey-Ellis.Welch has also refereed a number of women's internationals and the 2017 and 2020 Women's FA Cup finals.


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