KEIR RADNEDGE in LONDON: Mark Clattenburg has been chosen by FIFA as the referee for the Olympic men’s final between Brazil and Mexico on Saturday.
Clattenburg was the only Engish referee appointed to the Olympics panel and this will be the most high-profile international match of his career. The 37-year-old’s assistants will be Stephen Child and Simon Beck.
From Gosforth, Clattenburg became a FIFA official in 2006 and was promoted to the elite list in January this year. He has refereed in the Champions League and Euro 2012 qualifying and took charge of this past season’s League Carling Cup final.
He was an additional assistant referee at the Euro 2012 finals in a team headed by Howard Webb.
Like every referee, Clattenburg’s rise has not been without critical headlines.
These included controversy off the pitch with an eight-month suspension over his personal and business affairs in 2009 and, on the pitch, with incidents such as the serious broken leg suffered by Grimsby’s Martin Pringle in 2002 – he showed the offending player ‘only’ a yellow card – as well as Tottenham’s ‘over-the-line’ no-goal against Manchester United in 2005 and an incident-packed Merseyside derby in 2007.
David Elleray, chairman of the FA referees’ committee, said: ‘The appointment of Mark Clattenburg to referee the Olympic final with his English assistants Steve Child and Simon Beck is wonderful news and is in keeping with the outstanding achievements of so many people from Great Britain in these Olympics.
“Match officials in all sports make an important contribution to the success of sport and the appointment of the English referee team to the final match should be seen as another ‘gold’ for Team GB.
“This appointment means that English officials have controlled the World Cup final, Champions League final and Olympic final in the space of two years – a remarkable achievement which reflects well on the health of refereeing in this country.
“As with Howard Webb’s World Cup final appointment, this will be an inspiration to our young referees and will mean that the 2012 Olympics will have a lasting legacy in refereeing.”
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