Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Time to blow the whistle on 'The man in black'...

...female officials are making history once again, as Amy Fearn proves.

On Saturday 9th November 2013, Amy Fearn became the first woman to referee a main FA Cup draw match in the 142 year history of the competition. The high profile match didn't phase Fearn, who confidently controlled the game, which produced four yellow cards, as Dover Athletic beat Corby Town 2-1 at Steel Park.

Fearn's first experience with making the headlines came in 2006, when she was criticised by Luton Town's manager Mike Newell. He made controversial comments after the assistant referee (Fearn), decided not to award his side a penalty during Luton's 3-2 loss to QPR. Newell said: "She shouldn't be here. I know that sounds sexist but I am sexist. This is not park football, so what are women doing here?" The FA investigated his remarks and fined him £6500. He later apologised and was warned by his club.

On a more positive note, Fearn made a historical achievement a few years later, by becoming the first woman to referee a Football League game in 2010. She came on as a replacement for ref Tony Bates in the last 20 minutes of the game, which unfortunately prompted some laughing and comments from the crowd such as: "Haven’t you got a husband to go home to, love?". But Amy has shrugged of these sexist remarks all her life, along with the likes of fellow officials Wendy Toms and Sian Massey, and continued to make a name for herself. Proving over her 21 year refereeing career, that she is a professional and experienced match official, determined to prove critics wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment