September 23, 2020

Taylor to be first referee to officiate in second FA Cup final for over a century

Anthony Taylor first took charge of the FA Cup final in 2017 when Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 to win the trophy for a record 13th time

Anthony Taylor will become the first referee to take charge of two FA Cup finals since 1901 when Arsenal face Chelsea at Wembley on 1 August.

Referees usually take charge of the FA Cup final just once in their career.

The move is because coronavirus rules mean the game will be behind closed doors, and the Football Association does not want a referee’s family to miss out on attending the match.

Taylor previously took charge of the 2017 FA Cup final.

That match was also between Chelsea and Arsenal, with the Gunners winning 2-1.

“A significant part of the cup final appointment is the opportunity to share this – the English refereeing pinnacle – with partners, family, friends and those who have been an important part of their long journey to the final,” said FA referees’ committee chairman David Elleray.

“Sadly, this year’s final will be very different and will be held without all these elements in an empty stadium.

“With this in mind, the committee decided it would be unfair to appoint someone who has not yet done the final and have, instead, appointed Anthony Taylor to his second FA Cup final.”

Taylor will be just the eighth person to referee the FA Cup final more than once and the first since Arthur Kingscott oversaw the 1901 final between Sheffield United and Tottenham – Spurs won a replay also refereed by Kingscott 3-1 – the season after officiating in Bury’s 4-0 win over Southampton.

This years FA Cup final will kick off at 17:30 BST on Saturday 1 August, with live coverage on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sport website.