Clattenburg lauds the use of VAR, says technology was timely, could save a referees career
Former English Premier League (EPL) top referee Mark Clattenburg says the use of technology, and in particular the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), is a welcome addition to their otherwise difficult job and when the teething problems are over, it will make football more enjoyable.
The 45 year old, who until December last year was a referee in China having left the EPL in February 2017 to head the Saudi Arabian referees body and later moved to China, had spent 13 years in the EPL and is not new to controversial calls.
“This is new technology and thus the mistakes we have seen when VAR is in use. It will definitely improve and will be in use everywhere.
As a referee, this would have been a welcome addition to my job as it would have helped me avoid most of the questionable calls I ever made. This is technology that could save a referee’s career.
Issues of players being offside will no longer surface and this will absolve game officials of blame and criticism while making the games fair,” Clattenburg told K24’s Shon Osimbo in an interview on Tuesday night via Skype.
Voted the best referee in 2016, Clattenburg’s career began at the tender age of 16 and had become a Northern League assistant referee at 18.
He became a FIFA referee in 2006 at the age of 30, two years after turning professional.
“It took hard work to become one of the best referees in what is considered a short period and to referee in the best league in the world, EPL.
I had to constantly work on my fitness and listen to other experienced referees while watching matches over and over. This is a difficult job and without my family’s support, I wouldn’t have made it,” he said.
In 2004, the Newcastle United fan made his debut in the EPL and worked his way to the top, winning the best referee award 12 years later.
2016 was a big year for him as he was in charge of the FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Crystal Palace, a match the former won 2-1.