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Clattenburg’s time out exposes crisis in the game



Administrators, managers, players, pundits and journalists should all hang their heads in shame at the news that Mark Clattenburg, one of the best referees in the English game, has felt the need to take a month off in the wake of the relentless criticism of his performances

Last month Clattenburg was in the spotlight after failing to book or send off Wayne Rooney when the Manchester United striker elbowed Wigan Athletic’s James McCarthy in an off-the-ball incident in a Premier League match that eventually led to FIFA and the FA arguing about whether video evidence could be used to penalise a player after a referee had seen and taken action on an incident

On Saturday he was lambasted again for giving a late penalty against Blackburn Rovers that even the club’s complaining manager reluctantly admitted was “technically correct” – i.e. – absolutely right.

Now, heartily sick of the circle of complaint and, no doubt frustrated by the lack of support forthcoming from the people who run the sport, he has opted to step out of the limelight.