Japanese referee to take charge of FA Cup fixture

A Japanese referee will become the first non-British official to

take charge of a match in the FA Cup, world football’s oldest

knockout competition.

Masaaki Toma, who is in Britain on a referee exchange program,

will officiate Saturday’s first-round match between third-tier team

Brentford and non-league side Basingstoke.

David Elleray, chairman of the Football Association’s referees

committee, says Toma is a ”world-class referee and his appointment

shows that the FA Cup really does hold global appeal.”

Toma has already taken charge of a Premier League reserve-team

fixture and a non-league match during his time in England.