Stuart Atwell, who will take charge of Arsenal vs Leeds United on Sunday in the Premier League, has been added to the FIFA List for 2021 as a VAR official along with a number of others, the names of which will make your head hurt.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal is shown a yellow card by referee Stuart Attwell during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal is shown a yellow card by referee Stuart Attwell during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

This weekend, Stuart Atwell returns to take charge of his first Arsenal match of the season although it will be his seventh involvement of the season (details below).

Atwell is clearly being trained as a VAR specialist, and this is reflected in his addition to the FIFA list as a VAR official. He is joined by Sian Massey-Ellis who also seems to be being moved more towards an assistant VAR role.

Given that’s she’s female, and been in the game longer than many of her male colleagues who have been promoted above her, you do have to wonder why she’s only deemed good enough for a support role, especially when you consider some of the main players.

In addition to those two, FIFA have also added:

Peter Bankes, Emily Carney, Neil Davies, Lee Betts, Chris Kavanagh, Craig Pawson and Paul Tierney, all officials Arsenal know well.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Conor Coady of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Craig Pawson, the match referee interact following the coin toss as Hector Bellerin of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at Molineux on February 02, 2021 in Wolverhampton, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 02: Conor Coady of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Craig Pawson, the match referee interact following the coin toss as Hector Bellerin of Arsenal looks on (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Back to Arsenal vs Leeds and Dan Cook will run the line for the third Arsenal game in a row.

Arsenal vs Leeds referee and officials

  • Referee: Stuart Atwell – 7th Arsenal involvement this season in the Premier League (Three as fourth official, three as far. Arsenal’s record when Atwell has been involved so far this season is P6 W2 D1 L3)
  • Assistant: Dan Cook – 5th Arsenal involvement this season (One as referee, one as assistant  1, two assistant 2, P4 W1 D1 L2)
  • Assistant: Simon Long  – 2nd Arsenal involvement this season (One as assistant VAR, P1 W0 D0 L1)
  • Fourth official: Simon Hooper – This is Hooper’s first involvement with Arsenal this season
  • VAR: Andre Marriner – 5th Arsenal involvement this season (One as referee, one as fourth, three as VAR, P5 W1 D0 L4)
  • Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis – 7th Arsenal involvement this season (One as assistant 1, three as assistant 2, two as assistant VAR, P6 W2 D1 L3)

That’s a total match involvement between them of 22 with a record of P21 W6 D3 L13

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.