Michael Oliver replaces his wife as match official at half-time in women's match
Michael Oliver took charge at the Emirates on Monday in a Premier League clash between Arsenal and Liverpool which ended in a goalless draw. There was a huge debate when Oliver’s assistant flagged Ramsey offside and disallowed the goal in the first half which proved to be costly for the Gunners. Michael Oliver was back in action on Thursday night, replacing injured official at women’s match.
Michael Oliver has been a Premier League referee since 2010 and he made an unexpected appearance in Thursday's Continental Cup game between Arsenal and Reading FC women at half-time. "If there is a qualified assistant referee in the stadium, please can they make themselves known.” was the announcement made in the ground of Boreham Wood FC, according to BBC Sport.
The 30-year-old referee came on to replace one of the injured officials in the match. While Oliver was the man to run down the line for the second half, his wife Lucy Oliver was busy refereeing the match. Michael Oliver received chants from the home fans “there’s only one Michael Oliver” in a crowd of 873.
Reading FC women ended with a defeat, losing 2-1 to Arsenal Ladies. Kelly Chambers, who’s in charge of Reading FC reacted to the unexpected appearance of Michael Oliver in the post-match interview. “It was a strange one. It was nice of him to step in and help us. We needed him, otherwise it could have been a different kettle of fish if we had just anyone taking over." reported by BBC Sport.
Michael Oliver’s first match as an official was back in August 2010, when he took charge of Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers’ match, making him Premier League’s youngest referee to take charge in the division.
The Premier League referee just happened to be in the right place at the right time and folks on Twitter appreciated his move, coming in and rescuing the game as it seemed headed towards uncharted waters and could have meant an unqualified official would be required to referee the game.