FA Cup match gets first foreign referee

Reuters, Friday 11 Nov 2011

A foreign referee will officiate in an FA Cup match for the first time when Japan’s Masaaki Toma takes charge of Brentford’s first-round match against Basingstoke on Saturday

Masaaki Toma
Japanese referee Masaaki Toma

“Masaaki Toma is a world class referee and his appointment shows that the FA Cup really does hold global appeal,” chairman of the FA’s referees committee and former official David Elleray said in a statement on Friday.

The FA Cup was first contested in 1871-72, the trophy being won by London club Wanderers.

J-League official Toma has already refereed a match in Britain this week, the reserve fixture of Premier League clubs Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland, and he was also in charge of England’s friendly against Mexico before the 2010 World Cup.

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