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

Ex-Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg FLEES Egypt – and his £32,000-a-month job – after a team’s president claimed he was in a gay relationship and threats from fans left him fearing for his safety

  • Mark Clattenburg has resigned from his role in Egypt over concerns for his safety
  • The former Premier League official faced threats from Zamalek supporters
  • Egypt’s FA confirmed his resignation but say safety fears were an ‘exaggeration’

Mark Clattenburg has left his job as the head of Egypt’s refereeing committee over safety concerns, after reportedly receiving threats from a set of supporters and personal attacks by the same club’s president.

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

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

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

The Egyptian FA confirmed Clattenburg's resignation but played down any safety concerns

The Egyptian FA confirmed Clattenburg’s resignation but played down any safety concerns

Mansour criticized Clattenburg’s role within Egyptian football, according to The Sun.

The Zamalek President also made allegations about the personal life of Clattenburg, who is understood to be estranged from his wife Claire.

Mansour had incorrectly claimed he had left his wife to start a gay relationship.

Although same-sex sexual activity is not explicitly criminalized in Egypt, LGBT people have been prosecuted on the charge of ‘debauchery’ in the past and there is little public acceptance of homosexuality.

The 47-year-old has also reportedly faced threats from Zamalek supporters, prompting his departure.

Clattenburg also had concerns his refereeing appointments were being changed by the league, while he struggled to persuade foreign officials to travel to the nation to oversee big matches.

The former referee had reportedly not been paid two months of his £32,000-a-month 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 incorrectly claimed Clattenburg (pictured with his wife Claire at the 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix) had begun a gay relationship

Zamalek’s President incorrectly claimed Clattenburg (pictured with his wife Claire at the 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix) had begun a gay relationship

The Egyptian Football Association confirmed Clattenburg has resigned from his post, but the organization says his exit still needs to be ratified.

‘England’s Mark Clattenburg, head of the Referees Committee of the Egyptian Football Association, resigned from his post on Tuesday evening,’ a statement read.

‘The Board of Directors of the Egyptian Football Association will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday, to decide on Clattenburg’s resignation.

Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported that the Egyptian FA were ‘surprised’ by Clattenburg’s resignation.

The organization denied refereeing appointments had been changed and said it would ‘support his return’.

The FA also claimed concerns over his safety were ‘an exaggeration’, labeling the country as the ‘safest in the world’.

Clattenburg oversaw the 2016 Champions League final as one of Europe's leading officials

Clattenburg oversaw the 2016 Champions League final as one of Europe’s leading officials

Clattenburg has held multiple roles abroad since stepping down as a Premier League referee in 2017.

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

Clattenburg has since worked in China and Greece, before taking up the position in Egypt.

The former referee had been viewed as one of Europe’s top officials during his career, reflected in him overseeing the Champions League and European Championship finals in 2016.

Clattenburg commemorated the achievements with a pair of tattoos, including having the Champions League trophy etched on to his left wrist with the words Final Milano 2016 written beneath.

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