The referee for Chelsea’s FA Cup final against Liverpool on Saturday will be Craig Pawson, Telegraph Sport can reveal.
The Football Association has confirmed the 43-year-old will be assisted by Dan Cook and Edward Smart, while the fourth official will be David Coote. The Video Assistant Referee will be Paul Tierney and the Var Assistant will be Simon Bennett.
“I got the call yesterday morning, so I was thrilled as you can imagine,” Pawson explained. “It has been a lifelong ambition to referee the FA Cup final and it is the pinnacle of anyone’s career so I am delighted to receive this honour.
“It will be a great final between two great teams and the fact that it is also the 150th anniversary of the first FA Cup final is the icing on the cake. I am really looking forward to it now.
Pawson is one of ten FIFA-rated referees in the Premier League Group 1 list and as such the oldest official not to have refereed an FA Cup final. The FA Cup final is considered the pinnacle of an English referee’s career, although others like Howard Webb and Mark Clattenburg have appeared in Champions League, European Championship finals in the past. and World Cup.
Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor, the country’s two leading referees, have exceptionally played in two FA Cup finals each. Both received a second in the two years the game was played during lockdowns, when there were no crowds in 2020, and then reduced capacity last year. It was felt that it would be unfair for a referee to have their only final without a full crowd.
Referees and assistants still attend a black-tie ‘Eve of the Final Rally’ gala the day before the match, an FA tradition that has survived the professionalization of officials to be held at the Kennington Oval this year.
When is the FA Cup final?
The FA Cup final will take place on Saturday 14 May 2022.
Where is the FA Cup final?
The final will take place at Wembley Stadium.
What time does the FA Cup final start?
This year’s kick-off time is 4.45pm BST.
What TV channel is the FA Cup final being shown on?
This year, the BBC and ITV have shared the rights to broadcast the FA Cup and the final will be shown on both channels.