MARTIN Atkinson has been appointed as the referee for the 2014 Capital One Cup final between Manchester City and Sunderland.
The 42-year-old – from Bradford, West Yorkshire – will be assisted in the Wembley showpiece on Sunday March 2 by linesmen Simon Long and Stephen Child.
Lancashire’s Neil Swarbrick will be the fourth official while Harry Lennard from East Sussex is the reserve assistant referee.
It has also been confirmed that both sides will wear their respective home kits on the day.
Fifa official Atkinson, who is a member of the West Riding County Football Association, primarily officiates in the Premier League and the Champions League.
Atkinson has already overseen the 2006 Community Shield, the 2008 FA Trophy Final, the 2011 FA Cup Final and last season’s Championship play-off final since beginning his professional refereeing career at the age of 16.
He made his first Football League appearance as an assistant referee in 1995 before being promoted to the Select Group of referees in 2005.
His top-flight refereeing debut in April 2005, in a fixture between Manchester City and Birmingham, came only two years after he received his first match appointment in the Conference.
Sunderland reached the final after beating Manchester United on penalties after extra time at Old Trafford while City secured a record 9-0 aggregate victory over West Ham in the semi-finals.
The Black Cats may still be reeling from Atkinson’s trip to the Stadium of Light back in September when he disallowed a Jozy Altidore goal and sent then-manager Paolo Di Canio to the stands in the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal.
Atkinson also officiated on Wearside in Sunderland’s goalless draw with Norwich in December, when defender Wes Brown was sent off late on.
His only game involving Manchester City this season also came last month, ending in a spectacular 6-3 victory over league leaders Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.
Leeds United supporter Atkinson has also been confirmed as the official to oversee the upcoming Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on Tuesday.