Mark Clattenburg: Ex-Premier League referee forced to flee Egypt over security concerns

Mark Clattenburg has quit his job as head of Egypt’s refereeing committee over security concerns after reportedly receiving threats from a number of fans and personal attacks from club officials.

The former Premier League referee took up the role last August, where he was tasked with improving the performance of officials in Egypt.

But Clattenburg has been heavily criticized by Mortada Mansour, the president of Zamalek Sporting Club, a record 14-time winners of the Egyptian Premier League.

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has fled Egypt over security concerns

The Egyptian FA confirmed Clattenburg's retirement but downplayed security concerns

The Egyptian FA confirmed Clattenburg’s retirement but downplayed security concerns

According to The Sun, Mansour was critical of Clattenburg’s role in Egyptian football. In a TV appearance, Mansour accused the Englishman of corruption while he held a similar role in Saudi Arabia, described him as a “bribed man” and suggested he gave certain referees certain matches to ensure matches ended early. The claims are completely unfounded.

Clattenburg, who is said to be estranged from his wife Claire, was also blamed by Mansour for his personal life.

It was falsely claimed that he left his wife to start a gay relationship.

Mortada Mansour, the president of the Zamalek Sporting Club, has criticized Clattenburg on television

Mortada Mansour, the president of the Zamalek Sporting Club, has criticized Clattenburg on television

Although same-sex sexual activity is not specifically criminalized in Egypt, LGBT people have historically been prosecuted for “debauchery” and there is little public acceptance of homosexuality.

Khaled Abu Bakr, a prominent lawyer in Egypt, has called for urgent government action to address corruption allegations against Clattenburg, warning that the situation could pose an immeasurable threat to the country’s international reputation in sport.

The 47-year-old was also reportedly threatened by Zamalek supporters, leading to his departure.

Clattenburg also had concerns that his refereeing appointments would be changed by the league while he struggled to persuade foreign officials to travel to the nation to oversee big games.

The former referee was reportedly unpaid for two months of his £32,000 monthly salary.

Clattenburg, pictured at a refereeing course in September 2022, was the subject of threats

Clattenburg, pictured at a refereeing course in September 2022, was the subject of threats

Zamalek's president falsely claimed that Clattenburg (pictured with his estranged wife Claire at the 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix) started a gay relationship

Zamalek’s president falsely claimed that Clattenburg (pictured with his estranged wife Claire at the 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix) started a gay relationship

The Egyptian Football Association confirmed Clattenburg has resigned from his post, but the organization say his departure has yet to be ratified.

“England’s Mark Clattenburg, head of the Egyptian Football Association’s refereeing committee, resigned from his post on Tuesday evening,” read a statement.

“The Egyptian Football Association board will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday to decide on Clattenburg’s resignation.

Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported that the Egyptian Football Association was “surprised” by Clattenburg’s resignation.

The organization declined to change referee dates, saying they would “support his return”.

The FA also claimed concerns about its safety were “an exaggeration” and described the country as the “safest in the world”.

Clattenburg officiated the 2016 Champions League final as one of Europe's foremost officials

Clattenburg officiated the 2016 Champions League final as one of Europe’s foremost officials

Clattenburg has held several overseas roles since stepping down as Premier League referee in 2017.

He initially took charge of refereeing in Saudi Arabia, a role previously held by Howard Webb, a former Premier League official.

Since then, Clattenburg has worked in China and Greece before assuming the position in Egypt.

The former referee was considered one of the best officials in Europe during his career, as reflected in the fact that he refereed the 2016 Champions League and European Championship finals.

Clattenburg commemorated the achievements with a pair of tattoos, including the Champions League trophy engraved on his left wrist with the words Final Milano 2016 underneath.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11674555/Former-Premier-League-referee-Mark-Clattenburg-forced-FLEE-Egypt-concerns-safety.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Mark Clattenburg: Ex-Premier League referee forced to flee Egypt over security concerns

Maureen Mackey

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