English Football Clubs Not Named After A Town Or City Amy Fearn – The First Woman Referee In England

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Amy Fearn – The First Woman Referee In England

Amy Fearn has made history in English football by becoming the first woman to referee an English Football League match.

The match between Coventry City and Nottingham Forest took place at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday 9 February 2010, and was originally refereed by Tony Bates, who started the match, suffered a calf injury and had to be substituted after 70 minutes, being replaced by Amy Fern, Ji was one of his assistants, making her the first woman to referee a league game in England.

Bhai, 31, has been refereeing since the age of 16, and has worked as a referee in the Football Conference and as an assistant referee in the Football League for nearly seven years.

Women have been more properly called assistant referees since the 1990s, but this was the first time a woman had refereed a Football League match. The historic moment was greeted with cheers from the 18,000 strong crowd when Fern blew her first whistle. With Coventry already 1-0 up, she didn’t have to make any controversial decisions during her twenty minute stint in charge.

Fears would love to work in the Premier League one day, although that prospect seems a long way off in the future. The question remains as to why women do not perform regularly in football matches

Her twenty minutes of league football passed without incident, although in 2006 she was criticized by Luton Town manager Mike Newell when she was running the line and denied his team a penalty. Newell was quoted as saying that “incompetent referees and linesmen are bad enough but if you start bringing women into the game you have bigger problems”, suggesting that women in football are a symbol of political correctness. Newell was later fined for his comments and issued a full apology.

Due to the anarchic attitude of the male-dominated sport, there is a lack of female referees or women simply aren’t ready for the job. The role of referee is seen as a tough job, both physically and mentally, but encouraging more women to take up the role could address the national shortage of referees.

This could be a case of proving that women are up for the job, and when given the chance, avoid mistakes, and show that they too can do the job. If so, Amy Fear has taken the first positive step on what could be a very long journey.

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