The FA has announced the match officials for the 2019 SSE Women’s FA Cup Final with Berks & Bucks FA Referee Lisa Benn making the official line-up.
Lisa has been appointed as Fourth Official and will line-up alongside Abigail Byrne (Suffolk FA) who has been appointed as match referee for the showpiece event between Manchester City and West Ham United taking place on Saturday 04 May 2019 at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. They will be joined by assistant referees Sian Massey-Ellis (Birmingham FA) and Mel Burgin (Sheffield and Hallamshire FA).
Lisa Benn, Level 3 Referee and Berks & Bucks FA Referee Development Officer said: "To officiate in a game as historic and prestigious as the Women's FA Cup Final is an honour and I feel very privileged that The FA have trusted me with this appointment.
"I was there in the crowd supporting the team of match officials at Wembley last year and now, to think that I will be part of that team this year...I don't think it's really set in yet.
"The appointment came as a big surprise but it's an opportunity I am relishing and can't wait for the game now. I've had a great season so far and have been part of some great games, visiting new clubs and grounds along the way. The support from family, friends, colleagues, referees and clubs has been overwhelming and really demonstrates how united football is."
Lisa Benn (middle) refereed the FA WSL Academy Cup Final between Arsenal v Manchester United
David Elleray, Chairman of The FA Referees' Committee, added: “The FA Referees' Committee is very pleased that, once again, a team of female match officials will take control of the Women’s FA Cup Final.
“Led by referee Abigail Byrne, the team includes the highly experienced Sian Massey-Ellis who officiates regularly in the Premier League and is a ‘veteran’ of some of the most important women’s international matches in the world. Mel Burgin and Lisa Benn, who have both enjoyed excellent performances this season, complete the quartet and the Referees' Committee is convinced that they will all contribute to an exciting final, which will show the continuing growth in the quality of playing and officiating in the women’s game.”
Abigail was promoted into the elite level of refereeing in 2015 and has operated in The FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL) since 2016. She has refereed 11 FA WSL and FA Women’s Championship matches so far this season and has recently become a FIFA referee.
Abigail Byrne said: “I'm absolutely honoured to be appointed to the biggest game in women's football. It's the call that every referee wants to get, but never a call you expect to get.“I've had a good season so far but I never imagined I'd get the chance to referee at Wembley. It's a massive game and it will be an honour to be a part of it.”
Abigail Byrne has been appointed as Referee for the 2019 Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley
Tickets for this season’s Final, which kicks off at 17:30, are already on sale priced £15 for adults while kids go free: www.thefa.com/tickets
For more information and reaction to the appointments, visit TheFA.com