‘My target is to have an Egyptian referee in World Cup,’ says Clattenburg

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 30 Jun 2022

Head of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) committee to develop Egyptian referees, Englishman Mark Clattenburg announced Thursday that he will his best book a regular place for Egyptian referees in future World Cups.

Britain referee Clattenburg. AFP
Britain referee Clattenburg. AFP


The EFA introduced Clattenburg in a press conference on Thursday, one day after his appointment as the head of a new committee to develop Egyptian referees.

“My target is to have an Egyptian referee in the World Cup,” Clattenburg told a press conference on Thursday.

“It is difficult to evaluate the performance of the Egyptian referees as I am not here for a longtime,” the Englishman said.

“I will follow the coming league games and I will evaluate the referees’ performance and statistics,” he added.

“We have a training programme for the referees with coaches from FIFA to prepare them for the coming period,” Clattenburg announced.

Clattenburg is one of the most decorated English referees, having officiated in the elite Premier League for 13 years.

He also took charge of a number of high-profile games in Europe, including the Euro 2016 final and the Champions League final in the same year.

Despite the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in Egyptian football, the referees have come under fire from the majority of Premier League clubs this season.

“One of the problems that I suffered from in Greece was the VAR as there are always a problem between the referee and the VAR official,” Clattenburg said.

Many contentious decisions have dominated headlines, with Cairo giants Ahly repeatedly asking for foreign referees to take charge of their respective games. The EFA said it would allow foreigners to officiate domestic games as long as the concerned club cover all expenses.

“The referee needs a long time to revise the decision but now the case will be changed as he will need only for 33 seconds to revise case,” the Englishman added.

“In Egypt we will need for a learning programme to reduce the mistakes,” Clattenburg concluded.

In early 2017, Clattenburg left the Premier League and replaced fellow Englishman Howard Webb as the head of Saudi Arabia's refereeing committee. Two years later, he became a professional referee in China.

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