Female Premier League referee only a matter of time - Massey-Ellis

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How is Sian Massey-Ellis preparing to referee a Champions League final?

English referee Sian Massey-Ellis believes it is only a matter of time before there is a female referee in the Premier League.

The 32-year-old from Coventry is one of the assistant referees at Thursday's Women's Champions League final in Kiev.

She is an assistant referee in the Premier League and EFL, and also referees in the the WSL.

"I think it is coming. We have really good talented female referees coming through," she told BBC Sport.

"It is only going to be a length of time until we see one in the Premier League - there are no barriers there.

"But it is important that we aren't just pushing them because they are female - everyone comes through the same channel and is marked the same way, male or female. It is about the quality of refereeing.

"We are all trying to do the best job we can. We support each other when we make mistakes and are like a little family."

Massey-Ellis will be part of the team headed by referee Jana Adamkova from the Czech Republic for the decider between Lyon and Wolfsburg, which takes place two days before the men's final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

She has twice been a reserve official for the Women's Champions League final, in 2013 and 2017, and was an an assistant referee in the Euro 2013 final between Germany and Norway in Sweden.

She described Thursday's appointment as an "amazing opportunity", adding: "The way I treat games is always the same.

"I don't think of pressure or the crowds or the media - it's just red versus blue or whatever," she said.

"I really try to focus on my preparation and treat everything right and just like a normal game. We have a lot of support - I've spoken to a psychologist to talk through the game plan.

"We have a lot of preparation coaches to make sure we focus on the game and not what goes with it."

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