Mark Clattenburg says referees who join Saudi Arabia could be blocked from the World Cup
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Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has warned officials that they could be prevented from taking charge of World Cup matches if they move to Saudi Arabia.
This summer, clubs in the Saudi Professional League have spent big to lure some of Europe’s biggest games to play for their clubs.
The likes of Karim Benzema, Roberto Firmino, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante have all moved to Saudi Arabia.
On the back of this news, former referee Clattenburg who worked as Saudi Arabia’s director of refereeing from 2017 to 2018, has sounded out a stern warning.
He told The Times: “My problem with the idea of having full-time referees going there from Europe is that I can’t see referees giving up the chance to referee in the Champions League, Euros or World Cup unless they are at the end of their career.
“I thought I would be able to still go to the World Cup taking one of the European places but FIFA and UEFA insisted I should be viewed as a Saudi referee and I did not want to take the place of anyone from there.”
Currently, a Premier League referee is reportedly earning between £120,000 and £300,00 per year and the Saudi Professional League are believed to be willing to offer a big increase.
Michael Oliver, who is one of the Premier League’s top officials reportedly took home £3000 after taking charge of a match between Al Hilal and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr.
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