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Ex-Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg 'forced to flee Egypt' following criticism from club president

Ryan Sidle

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Ex-Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg 'forced to flee Egypt' following criticism from club president

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has been forced to leave Egypt after criticism by a club president led to threats from fans.

Clattenburg was an official in England's top tier from 2004 until 2017 and was considered the best of his generation in the Premier League, and across Europe.

In 2016 he became only the second referee to take charge of both the Champions League and European Championships finals in the same season.

That led to him getting the Champions League trophy tattoo on his wrist, something you'd usually expect a player to do, but why not, he reached the pinnacle of his career as much as the players did.

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He left England in 2017 to take over from fellow Englishman Howard Webb as the head of refereeing in Saudi Arabia, and has had a number of jobs since.

Most recently he has been in charge of Egyptian referees but, according to reports, he has now left the country after criticism from Zamalek president Mortada Mansour.

According to the Sun, Mansour questioned the referees sexuality, falsely claiming the 47-year-old left his wife to start a relationship with a man.

The claims are said to have led to threats from fans of the club and led the former referee to fear for his life in the country, leading him to leave.

Clattenburg with his medal after refereeing the Euro 2016 final. Image: Alamy
Clattenburg with his medal after refereeing the Euro 2016 final. Image: Alamy

There were more issues for the Durham born official to battle with as well, as he was having issues persuading referees from abroad to come in for big games, as is the norm in Egypt.

Having started his £32,000-a-month job in August, Clattenburg has reportedly not been paid in the past two months either, adding to his problems in the new role.

Egyptian outlet Ahram Online, also say that he had arguments with officials in the Egyptian Football Association, and they still need to ratify his resignation.

On his arrival in the Middle East last summer, the former Premier League ref said, "My target is to have an Egyptian referee in the World Cup. It is difficult to evaluate the performance of the Egyptian referees as I am not here for a long time."

Previously, Clattenburg has admitted that ahead of the Euros in France in 2016, when he eventually reffed the final, he'd wanted England knocked out early.

He admitted that as a big fan of the national team he didn't enjoy not wanting them to win but realised his best chances of taking charge of games late in the competition was Roy Hodgson's side being knocked out early.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Egypt, Premier League, Football

Ryan Sidle
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