The FA Cup final referee for Chelsea 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. Video assistant referee will be Paul Tierney and assistant Var will be Simon Bennett.
“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.”
Pawson is one of ten Fifa-ranked referees in the select group one list in the Premier League and as such the most senior of the officials not to have refereed an FA Cup final. The FA Cup final is regarded as the pinnacle of an English referee’s career although others such as Howard Webb and Mark Clattenburg have in the past gone on to do Champions League, European Championship and World Cup finals.
Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor, the country’s two leading referees have unusually had two FA Cup finals each. Both were given a second in the two years the game was played during lockdowns, when there was no crowd in 2020 and then a reduced capacity last year. It was felt that it would be unfair on a referee to have his one final without a full crowd.
The referees and assistants still attend a black tie gala “Eve of final rally” the night before the game, an FA tradition that has survived the professionalising of officials that will be held at the Kennington Oval this year.
When is the FA Cup final?
The FA Cup final will take place on Saturday, May 14 2022.
Where is the FA Cup final?
The final will take place at Wembley Stadium.
What time does the FA Cup final kick-off?
This year’s kick-off time is 4.45pm BST.
What TV channel is the FA Cup final on?
This year the BBC and ITV have shared the broadcast rights for the FA Cup and the final will be shown on both channels.
Chelsea’s road to the final