Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has not been sacked by the Saudi Football Federation and remains director of refereeing in the country, according to media reports.
In a tweet, the Saudi Football Federation confirmed that Clattenburg, who was widely considered the best referee in England when he moved to Saudi Arabia in early 2017, has been replaced by Nabil bin Khalid al-Naqshbandi as chairman of the referees committee.
“The decision to appoint Naqshbandi is part of the framework of the board’s efforts to elevate football in the kingdom to the prestige that befits it globally,” he said.
According to the Daily Mail, Clattenburg has said that serving in both capacities was “proving too much as it involved him looking after grassroots refereeing as well as officiating himself and taking care of foreign referees in the league.”
Clattenburg will now focus on working with overseas officials and on overseeing matches, the newspaper added.
As a referee in the UK, Clattenburg took charge of the FA Cup, Champions League and Euro finals in 2016 before taking on the role in Saudi Arabia in February of the following year.
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