Mark Clattenburg also holds the position of Head of Refereeing in Saudi Arabia
Being a referee is not an easy job! Sometimes you’re praised, others you’re bashed. It’s part and parcel of being ‘the man in black’. But what English referee Mark Clattenburg did, deserves the plaudits!
The former Premier League referee left his job in England to serve as the Head of Refereeing with the Saudi Arabia Football Federation. Despite holding this high role, he still officiates matches. In fact, Clattenburg was refereeing a game from the Saudi King Cup between Al-Fayha and Al-Fateh. The match ended in a 1-1 draw and went to extra-time. Four minutes into the extra-time period, the Adhaa (the call to prayer) went out in mosques around the King Salman City Stadium. As Clattenburg heard the Adhaa, he sounded his whistle and stopped play. After three minutes, play resumed as the mosques went silent again. In the end the match ended 2-1 in favour of Al-Fayha.
Although it was a simple gesture, many applauded the referee’s decision. Despite coming from a different culture, Clattenburg observed the ritual and showed respect to his present country’s culture. The following tweets show the praise he got from the local people.
Mark Clattenburg, 42, left the Premier League last season in a surprise decision that stunned many people. Prior to this move, Clattenburg managed to register the treble in refereeing. In 2016, he officiated the English FA Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA EURO 2016.