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One of the Premier League's top referees is quitting to move to Saudi Arabia

Mark Clattenburg is leaving English football.

Clattenburg has been a Premier League referee since 2004.
Clattenburg has been a Premier League referee since 2004.
Image: EMPICS Sport

MARK CLATTENBURG is leaving the Premier League to take up a position in Saudi Arabia.

The 41-year-old, who is considered to be one of the top officials in the game, was rumoured to be quitting his current role in order to follow a number of big-name players to the Chinese Super League.

However, it has now emerged that his new job will be head of referees with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation.

2016 was a big year for Clattenburg on a personal level as he refereed the FA Cup final, the Champions League final and the Euro 2016 final.

“The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) would like to wish Mark Clattenburg well as he prepares for his move to the Saudi Arabian Football Federation,” reads a PGMOL statement received by Sky Sports.

Since joining the PGMOL Select Group in 2004, Mark developed into one of our top officials, refereeing at the highest level and setting standards for others to follow.

“His accomplishments are numerous and last season saw Mark achieve a memorable treble, on top of another consistently excellent season in the Premier League, as he officiated three major cup finals — the FA Cup final, the Uefa Champions League final and the Uefa Euro 2016 final.

“Mark is a talented referee, he has been a great asset to the English game and hopefully an inspiration to those who want to get into refereeing at the grass roots of the game.

“We understand this is an exciting opportunity for Mark as well as further underlining what high esteem English match officials are held throughout the world game.”

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Ben Blake

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