It’s a good end to 2020 for English officials Rebecca Welch, who has been promoted to UEFA’s elite category of female referees.
North Riding referee Welch, based in Washington, took charge of both the Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final and FA Women’s Community Shield at Wembley this year and is the only official to be promoted to the elite group in this mid-season reclassification.
And there's also a promotion for assistant referee Emily Carney, who has joined the FIFA list of officials for the first time.
Carney, who hails from Bolton in Lancashire, was also an assistant referee for the 2020 Community Shield and reserve assistant referee for the Cup Final at Wembley alongside Welch.
Also making the same step as Carney are Peter Bankes (referee) and Neil Davies (assistant referee) who have been included on FIFA's roster for the first time.
In addition to Welch and Carney's promotions, their colleague Sian Massey-Ellis has also been accepted as a nomination to be a FIFA video match official for 2021.
“This a very important step for women's refereeing in England,” said David Elleray, chair of the FA Referees Committee.
“I’m sure the Committee join me in sending their heartfelt congratulations.”