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Football Association chiefs decided to break FA Cup tradition for the Arsenal vs Chelsea showpiece at Wembley on Saturday, and it has benefitted Premier League referee Anthony Taylor.
Anthony Taylor will referee the FA Cup final for the second time later today.The Premier League official has been asked to take charge of the showpiece for a second time, despite the tradition that each ref can only oversee the famous match on a single occasion.
The FA believe that it would be unfair to ask a ref to lead the match for the first time without being able to have any family and friends present, which is why they asked 2017 official Taylor.The decision has left the 41-year-old pleased, but surprised, having officiated over the same two teams when Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 three years ago.
He said: “It was a little bit unexpected to get the call, having already refereed the FA Cup Final a couple of years ago, so I’m very humbled and equally honoured to have been asked to take charge of the Final again.“It’s just an iconic occasion at the best of times, but this year is a unique one with no spectators.”We know there are different circumstances this year and the 2020 Final will always be remembered because of this.“It’s ironic that it’s the same clubs, but it’s now two different teams.”Taylor went on to admit that it can be a rather intense occasion, while starting that both sides have more than earned their spot in the last two.He added: ”Clubs who reach the Final don’t get there by fluke, and whichever teams end up in the FA Cup Final, it’s always going to be an intense occasion to officiate.“However, any official who has refereed the FA Cup Final will say that when you’re appointed to the game, it’s not just recognition for you as an individual, it’s a recognition for all of the people who’ve supported you over the years and helped you to reach the elite level.
“That’s what makes the occasion so special, not just the match but that you get to share it with your close friends and family who will be there supporting you “Obviously, that’s not going to be possible this time, but there’s other ways and means that friends and family can be supporting us on the day.”