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Juan Mata incident played part in Mark Clattenburg quitting Premier League, insists ex-referees' chief

Mirror logo Mirror 17/02/2017 Liam Prenderville

Credits: Shaun Botterill

Credits: Shaun Botterill
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

Former referees' chief Keith Hackett has claimed an incident involving Juan Mata led Mark Clattenburg to quit the Premier League.

Clattenburg has made a shock decision to turn his back on English football to take up a role as Head of Referees in Saudi Arabia. 

The 41-year-old was regarded as the Premier League's top official, having taken charge of the Euro 2016 and Champions League finals last term.

In 2012, Chelsea alleged the referee used racist language towards Mata and John Obi Mikel but an FA investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing.

However, Hackett believes Clattenburg has always felt he didn't have enough support.

"It's bad news for English refereeing. The Premier League has lost the world's best ref - it's a massive blow," he told the Daily Star.

"I think it's down to poor management. There were incidents when the PGMOL haven't supported or clarified decisions when they've needed to.

"Mark felt after the Mata incident no-one supported him. He was left high and dry."

Clattenburg will not take charge of an FA Cup game this weekend, meaning his last match in English football was Arsenal's 2-0 win over Hull.

It was a controversial one too with the referee failing to spot an Alexis Sanchez handball while he opted not to send Kieran Gibbs off for a foul, despite appearing to be last man.

Hull revealed Clattenburg apologised to them over the decisions but Hackett doesn't think that played a part in his decision.


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