FA has confirmed Michael Oliver is the referee appointed for the cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United scheduled for next 19 May at Wembley.
Oliver – who directed the recent Champions League quarter final between Real Madrid and Juventus, awarding a disputed injury-time penalty before also sending off Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for his furious protests – will be assisted by Lee Betts and Ian Hussin, with Lee Mason appointed as the fourth official.
“I was very proud and humbled to receive the phone call. When you start out, taking charge of the (FA) Cup final is not something you even think about,” Oliver said on the FA’s website.
“As your career progresses it becomes a realistic target, but it’s not a call you ever expect to take, but it is a great one. This opportunity only comes around once in a referee’s career.”
The FA also confirmed the video assistant referee ( VAR) would again be in place, with Neil Swarbrick and Mick McDonough watching from Stockley Park.
Chairman of the FA Referees’ Committee David Elleray backed Oliver to be able to handle what is announced to be a sparkling encounter on the touchline between rival managers José Mourinho and Antonio Conte.
“Over a number of years, Michael has shown that he has a wise and calm head on relative youthful shoulders and he is an excellent role model for young referees,” said Elleray.
“Michael has shown that he is capable of controlling the most important matches in Europe, and in England, and we have every confidence that he and his team will enhance what promises to be an enthralling encounter.”