Match officials confirmed for the Emirates FA Cup and Vitality Women's FA Cup Finals

Thursday 21 Apr 2022
Craig Pawson will be in charge of the Emirates FA Cup Final on Saturday 14 May

Craig Pawson and Kirsty Dowle will take charge of this season’s Emirates FA Cup Final and Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final respectively at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.

The appointment of both referees and their teams of officials were confirmed following the conclusion of the semi-finals in both competitions last weekend.

In the men’s Final between Chelsea and Liverpool on Saturday 14 May, Sheffield-based Pawson will be assisted by Dan Cook and Edward Smart, while the fourth official will be David Coote.

Video assistant referee will be Paul Tierney and assistant VAR will be Simon Bennett.

Pawson began his refereeing career in 1993 and was first appointed to the EFL as a referee in 2008, before joining the Premier League list in 2013.

He was appointed as the fourth official for the 2015 FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Aston Villa, having previously performed the same role in the 2014 semi-final between Arsenal and Wigan Athletic.

“I got the call yesterday morning, so I was elated as you can imagine,” explained Pawson.

“It’s been a lifetime’s ambition to referee the FA Cup Final and it’s the pinnacle of anyone’s career so I’m elated to receive the honour.

“It’s going to be a great Final between two great teams and the fact that it’s the 150th anniversary of the first FA Cup Final as well is the cherry on the top.

“I’m just really looking forward to it now.

"It feels as though it’s back to normal again in terms of crowds, there’s obviously two great teams involved.

"They’re two of the best teams, not only in England but in Europe and world football, who reach the latter stages of every major tournament both domestically and internationally.

"It’s been a while since Liverpool reached the FA Cup Final but they have a long and illustrious history in the competition while Chelsea have been here and had success more recently. The fact they’ve already met in the EFL Cup Final this year, means it’s a really nice game to be involved in.

Kirsty Dowle will be at Wembley on Sunday 15 May for the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final

For the Women’s Final between Chelsea and Manchester City, which takes place on Sunday 15 May, Kent referee Dowle will be assisted by Emily Carney and Magda Golba with Lisa Benn taking the role of fourth official. The reserve assistant referee will be Georgia Ball.

Dowle is a regular referee in the Barclays FA WSL, as well as being Level 2B in the men’s game and also a FIFA women’s referee, having started her refereeing career eight years ago.

She was also an assistant referee at the Women’s FA Cup Final in 2018 and is now looking forward to stepping out at Wembley next month.

“It came as a shock, I got a phone call yesterday which I missed because I was at work,” revealed Kirsty.

“And when I heard the voicemail of ‘it’s the FA, can you give us a call back?’ I thought I was in some sort of trouble!

“It wasn’t something I was really expecting but it’s always nice to get that kind of news.

“This is what every referee wants and it’s what you work hard for, so it’s great to have this kind of game to look forward to.

“I think it’s just the occasion and with the way in which women’s football is growing so rapidly, with the EUROs coming up this year and we’ve [England] just done well in the Arnold Clark Cup, we’ve now got two brilliant teams in the Cup Final and it should be an amazing day.”

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You can see the full list of officials for each Final below:-

Chelsea v Liverpool
Men’s Emirates FA Cup Final

Referee: Craig Pawson (Sheffield & Hallamshire FA)
Assistant Referees: Dan Cook (Hampshire) and Edward Smart (Birmingham FA)
Fourth Official: David Coote (Nottinghamshire FA)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Dan Robathan (Norfolk FA)
Video Assistant Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire FA)
Assistant VAR: Simon Bennett (Staffordshire FA)

Chelsea v Manchester City
Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final

Referee: Kirsty Dowle (Kent FA)
Assistant Referees: Emily Carney (Lancashire FA), Magda Golba (Liverpool FA)
Fourth Official: Lisa Benn (Sussex FA)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Georgia Ball (Derbyshire FA)

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By Nicholas Veevers