Woman ref 'will need thick skin'

LONDON - Amy Fearn, who made history this week by becoming the first woman to referee an English football league match, has set her sights on taking charge of matches in the Premier League.

LONDON - Amy Fearn, who made history this week by becoming the first woman to referee an English football league match, has set her sights on taking charge of matches in the Premier League.

But she has been warned that lingering prejudices among football fans and players will make her path to the top flight a tough one.

Fearn made history when she took charge for the final 20 minutes of Coventry City's 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday evening.

"It would be nice to referee in the Premier League one day but obviously the competition is harder," she said yesterday.

Former top referee Graham Poll believes Fearn could be good enough to reach the Premier League but admits she will need a thick skin to make it. "Prejudices remain in football," Poll wrote in his Daily Mail column. - Sapa-AFP

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