Marriner and Oliver to ref FA Cup semis

FIFA referees Andre Marriner and Michael Oliver will take charge of the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley later this month. 

Marriner, who was widely condemned for sending off the wrong player in Chelsea’s win over Arsenal last month, will oversee Hull City against Sheffield United on Sunday, 13 April.

Oliver will officiate Arsenal’s tie with holders Wigan on Saturday, 12 April.

The final takes place on 17 May, a week after the end of the Premier League season.

Marriner receives the appointment just two weeks after dismissing Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs instead of team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for an alleged handball on the goalline during Chelsea’s dominant 6-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Both players subsequently escaped a ban after the FA disciplinary panel concluded that a goal-scoring opportunity had not been denied as the Eden Hazard shot was heading wide of the post.

The West Midlands official was, however, given a vote of confidence by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) and was selected to referee Southampton’s 4-0 victory over Newcastle as opposed to being dropped into the Football League or removed from duty.

His progress last term was rewarded with the prestigious call-up to officiate the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Wigan last term, sending off City defender Pablo Zabaleta for a second bookable offence before Ben Watson’s last-gasp winner.

The 43-year-old will be assisted on the day by Harry Lennard and Mike Mullarkey while Anthony Taylor will be the fourth official and Matthew Wilkes the reserve assistant.

Oliver’s officiating team includes linesmen Stuart Burt and Darren England with Craig Pawson acting as fourth official and John Brooks on standby as the reserve assistant referee.

The highly-rated Northumberland whistler, 29, has been entrusted with a number of high-profile fixtures this term including the north London derby, the Manchester derby, Liverpool’s 5-1 thumping of Arsenal and Chelsea’s 4-0 triumph over Tottenham.

Oliver was the man in the middle for Wigan’s 2-0 semi-final win over Millwall twelve months ago and the fourth official for their Community Shield defeat by Manchester United at Wembley last August.

At the age of 25, he became the youngest Select Group official in history when taking charge of a 2-1 Birmingham win over Blackburn at St Andrews in August 2010.

The clash between the Latics and the Gunners will be broadcast on ITV while the Tigers will face the Blades live on BT Sport.

Both kick-offs will be delayed by seven minutes to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, it has been confirmed.

Wigan upset the odds to dump Manchester City out in the quarter-finals and Arsenal beat fellow top-four challengers Everton 4-1 at the Emirates.

Sheffield United, of League One, knocked out Championship side Charlton with a 2-0 home win and Steve Bruce’s Hull saw off former club Sunderland 3-0 at the KC Stadium.

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