Phil Dowd appointed referee for FA Cup Final 2012

By Alex Byrom
Referees Editor

Phil Dowd has been appointed to referee next month's FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley.

The 49-year-old from Staffordshire was given the news today. 

It will complete a domestic final clean sweep for the man who has been refereeing for 24 years and has been a select group ref since its inception in 2003.

He has previously taken charge of the 2010 Carling Cup final when Manchester United came from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1, with Wayne Rooney grabbing the winner, and this season's Community Shield when Manchester United came from behind again: this time from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with two goals for Nani – including the winner in stoppage time.

He has been at Wembley for the FA Cup before, but was the 4th official back in 2006.


Dowd has been a select group referee since 2003.

Martin O' Neil confronts Dowd at the final whistle of the 2010 Carling Cup between Aston Villa and Manchester United 

The match on the 5th May will feature Liverpool for the first time since that 2006 final when they came from behind to beat West Ham on penalties and Chelsea for the 4th time in six years.

He is delighted to have been awarded the 5th May showpiece and will be fulfilling a dream by officiating the match.

"I was honoured and privileged when I found out," Dowd told the FA's official website.

"You obviously hope as a referee that you might one day be considered for the FA Cup final so it will certainly be the highlight of my career so far.

"I would never have thought in my wildest dreams that when I first started refereeing [in 1984] that one day I'd be refereeing the FA Cup final. Watching the final as a boy was something I always loved to do."

David Elleray, who refereed the 1994 FA Cup final, and the FA Referees' Committee Chairman, said: "I would like to congratulate Phil and the team on their appointments for this year's FA Cup final, which is fully deserved.

"It is a huge honour to be selected as a match official for what remains the world's most famous and best-loved cup competition and I am sure Phil and the others will be really looking forward to both the build-up to the final and walking out onto the Wembley pitch on 5 May."


He has awarded 3 penalties to Liverpool this season.

On the day, Dowd will be assisted by Stuart Burt (Northamptonshire) and Andrew Garratt (Staffordshire), while Michael Jones (Cheshire)Description: is the fourth official and Simon Long is the reserve assistant referee.

The two linesman for the FA Cup final: Andy Garratt (top) and Stuart Burt (Bottom)


LiverpoolDescription: booked their spot in the final by beating Merseyside rivals EvertonDescription: 2-1 on Saturday and, the following day, ChelseaDescription: thrashed Tottenham HotspurDescription: 5-1 in controversial circumstances.

Although given the appointment on ‘merit’ he has been criticised for being “card happy” as shown with 93 yellow cards and 3 cards in 24 Premier League games – an average of 4 per game – this season. He has awarded 9 penalties in the League and 13 in all competitions.

Like all referees he has come in for some criticism this season. He was heavily challenged after the Boxing Day match at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Wigan, in which he dismissed Connor Sammon for a shove in the face and then awarded Manchester United a penalty even though it was clearly outside the box. 

Also, in the Carling Cup match in November between the FA Cup finalists at Stamford Bridge he booked Luiz for diving – yet it was a clear penalty – and missed two other penalties for both sides before pointing to the spot after a handball. Carroll missed the penalty anyway. He also failed to dismiss Ryan Bertrand for a horrible challenge; he was only booked.


Dowd's last red card for a Chelsea player was 17th April 2010 for John Terry in Chelsea's 2-1 loss at Tottenham. 

He has refereed Liverpool 7 times this season: They have won twice, drawn 3 and lost twice. He did their highest profile games – Everton at Home, Manchester United away and Chelsea in the Carling Cup. He did the second leg at Anfield between the Reds and Manchester City in which he awarded a penalty to the home side for a handball by Micah Richards.

He has refereed Chelsea 4 times in which Chelsea have lost on three occasions: 3-1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford; 2-0 at home to Liverpool in the Carling Cup and 1-0 away to West Bromwich Albion.

The match kicks off at 5:15 and will be live on ITV1 and ESPN and available to viewers’ in HD as well. 

The Staffordshire whistler cautions Luiz for diving in Chelsea's Carling Cup match with Liverpool last November.  

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