REFEREE FOR FA CUP FINAL BETWEEN CHELSEA AND MANCHESTER UNITED CONFIRMED

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Michael Oliver will officiate the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United on Saturday May 19.

The decision comes just two weeks after he awarded a decisive penalty to Real Madrid and sent off Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon deep into injury-time of a dramatic Champions League quarter-final at the Bernabeu.

Buffon hit out at the referee after he was sent off in his last Champions League game and the 33-year-old referee and his wife Lucy subsequently received death threats.

“It was a weird few days,” admitted Oliver on Tuesday.

“But it was nice that so many people, both within the game and outside the game, were keen to offer their support. It was quite humbling actually, and it meant a lot.

“I had people coming up to me in the street, and people from inside the game were sending me messages of support. It’s a nice thing to know I’ve got that backing.”

On his Cup Final appointment, Oliver added: “I was very proud and humbled to receive the call.

“When you start out, taking charge of the Cup Final is not something you even think about. As your career progresses it becomes a realistic target but it’s not a call you ever expect to take.

“This opportunity only comes around once in a referee’s career.

“It’s funny how things work out because the 1994 Final between Manchester United and Chelsea is the first one I remember watching. And now here I am taking charge of those two teams in an FA Cup Final 24 years later.”

Michael Oliver was in charge when Chelsea beat Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United at the quarter-final stage of the competition last season and sent off Ander Herrera for two fouls on Eden Hazard.

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OTONY
I eat, sleep and live Chelsea.