Rebecca Welch, first female referee in the Premier League, follows in the footsteps of Stéphanie Frappart

The magic of Christmas. And we hope this will be the start of a series. Rebecca Welch became the first woman to referee a Premier League match this Saturday. The 40-year-old referee kicked off Fulham-Burnley at Craven Cottage, a stadium where she had already officiated as fourth referee in November, during Fulham’s defeat against Manchester United (0-1), this which was also a first.

Rebecca Welch follows in the footsteps of Frenchwoman Stéphanie Frappart, now a referee in Ligue 1 after having crossed several barriers, particularly at the international level, in the world of men’s football. In 2021, the Englishwoman had already written a piece of history by becoming the first woman to referee a professional match in Great Britain, a League Two (fourth division) match between Port Vale and Harrogate.

She has since refereed matches in the Championship (second division) and the FA Cup, more specifically a third round match in January 2022 between Birmingham City and Plymouth Argyle. A referee since 2010, she continued to work until 2019 for the National Health Service (NHS), the British health system, before focusing on her whistle career.

This familiar face from the Women’s Super League, the English women’s championship, also officiated during the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

source site