Kevin Friend named as FA Cup final referee

Kevin Friend has been appointed referee for next month’s FA Cup final, the Football Association has announced.

Friend, 47, will take charge of the FA’s showpiece event between Manchester City and Watford at Wembley on Saturday, May 18.

“As a referee, the FA Cup final is the pinnacle of your career,” Friend said. “When you start out you never dream that you’re going to get the chance to take charge of a cup final, so to get the call this year is just fantastic.

“Every referee has goals and targets. There are certain games you want to be a part of and the FA Cup Final is definitely on that list.”

Constantine Hatzidakis and Matthew Wilkes have been named as Friend’s assistants, while Graham Scott and Edward Smart are fourth official and reserve assistant referee respectively.

Andre Marriner will be the video assistant referee (VAR) for the match and he will be joined at Stockley Park by the assistant VAR Harry Lennard.

“No matter what game it is, no referee can do it all on their own – it’s all about the team,” Friend added. “This is a huge honour for us all and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Friend was promoted to the list of Select Group Referees, who officiate mainly in the Premier League, in 2009.

He took charge of the 2012 FA Community Shield between Chelsea and Manchester City at Villa Park and the 2013 League Cup final between Bradford and Swansea at Wembley.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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