Japanese referee Masaaki Toma in charge of Brentford tie

Masaaki Toma
Toma encounters Wayne Rooney during England's friendly with Mexico in May 2010

Masaaki Toma will make history when he becomes the first non-British referee to take charge of an FA Cup fixture.

The Japanese official will handle the first round tie between Brentford and Basingstoke on Saturday as part of a referee exchange programme.

"His appointment shows that the FA Cup really does hold global appeal," said David Elleray, chairman of the Football Association's referees committee.

Toma was referee when England defeated Mexico 3-1 at Wembley in May 2010.

In that friendly, England's final home match before the World Cup, Toma booked three players - all Mexican.

Toma, 38, is in England along with another J-League referee Yoshiro Imamura as part of a programme between Professional Game Match Officials and the Japan Football Association.

As part of the programme, Premier League referees Howard Webb and Martin Atkinson visited Japan in June.

A PGMO spokesman said there were no plans for Japanese officials to take charge of Premier League games.

"This is about understanding different methods of refereeing around the world," he said.

"It's a useful experience and the two referees from Japan will return home before the end of the month."

Top Stories