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Published 13 May 2024 4 min read

Rebecca Welch named referee for Women's Champions League final

Written by:

Adam Drury

The experienced official will take charge of the showdown between Barcelona and Lyon in Bilbao later this month


Rebecca Welch has been selected by UEFA to oversee the women’s Champions League final in a historic moment for English refereeing.  
Welch will become the first woman from England to referee to a major international tournament final when she takes charge of Barcelona v Lyon in the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao on Saturday 25 May.
Natalie Aspinall and Emily Carney will support Welch as her assistant referees, while Stuart Attwell will act as VAR as four English officials have been chosen to officiate the showpiece event.  
The appointment comes off the back of the recent announcement that Welch and Carney will be flying out to Paris this summer to officiate at the Olympics and Attwell assuming the role of VAR at this summer’s EUROs.  
No stranger to the big stage, Welch has previously officiated at major tournaments such as the UEFA Women’s EUROs and FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand where she was part of the team that oversaw the third-place play-off match alongside Aspinall and Sian Massey-Ellis MBE.
This is another prestigious selection which adds to an ever-growing tally of over 500 international appointments achieved by match officials in England in the 2023-24 season, including recent first legs of the men’s Champions League and Europa Conference League semi-finals which were delivered by referees Anthony Taylor and Michael Oliver and their teams respectively.
Rebecca Welch has had a string of international appointments this season
Rebecca Welch has had a string of international appointments this season
Welch said of the appointment: “My first feelings after being told about the appointment were of shock and emotion if I’m honest. Being alongside so many good elite referees I didn’t think I would be the one to get the call - I was lucky enough to be fourth official last year but I’m so thrilled and excited to being refereeing it this year.  
“It’s such an important game to be involved in and it goes without saying that, as a referee, it’s a game I’ve always wanted to officiate. What will be extra special is that I will be alongside my English colleagues and friends.
“The coaching, guidance and support I’ve been lucky enough to receive throughout my officiating career is fundamental to achieving appointments like these. I’ve been refereeing for 14 years now and the hard work has never stopped. Some amazing people have stood with me over the years both on and off the field and without them this wouldn’t have been possible.”
Congratulations and good luck to Rebecca and the team!