The APL has chosen A-League referee Chris Beath to officiate the 2020/21 Grand Final, with Beath speaking about what it means to marshall the event.
Chris Beath has been appointed to referee Sunday’s A-League season showpiece for the second straight year.
Also this week named Referee of the Year, Beath will be joined by assistant Referees Matthew Cream and Nathan MacDonald, with Daniel Elder as fourth official, Wilson Brown as fifth official and Kris Griffiths-Jones appointed as VAR.
After overseeing 210 matches in the A-League, Beath’s second consecutive appointment as grand final referee comes after he was fourth official (2019) and Additional Assistant Referee (2016).
Beath oversaw last year’s A-League Grand Final between Sydney FC and Melbourne City FC – the same teams as have qualified last year – and said the presence of a crowd of up to 15,000 would make it a memorable day.
“It’s a testament to the teams that they’ve got to the final again this year and set the benchmark for the competition,” he said. “This year it will be nice to have a decent crowd there as well.
“Overall this year we’ve been very fortunate, given all the coronavirus restrictions that have been in place at various points, to have a relatively normal season, and it’s great that supporters will be able to attend in good numbers.
“As officials we’ve had a couple of challenges even this week in terms of preparing, but once the game starts our job is to be impartial and not to get caught up in the emotion.
“Once we get to the dressing room after the match is when we can reflect on the significance of the event, but until that point we’ll be fully focused on carrying out our jobs as match officials.”
A-League Commissioner Greg O’Rourke said Beath had earned his appointment again.
“Referee of the Year deserves to be in charge of the Grand Final, and that’s the case with Chris,” he said. “I’ve no doubt he’ll be as determined as the two teams to put in his best performance, as will the rest of his team.
“I’d like to also congratulate Matthew, Nathan, Daniel, Wilson and Kris for their selection for this event.”