Leading referee Mark Clattenburg is leaving the Premier League after 12 years to work in Saudi Arabia.
The 41-year-old’s move was confirmed by Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the organisation which provides and trains officials for the Premier League, English Football League and Football Association.
Last season, Clattenburg achieved a memorable treble as he officiated three major cup finals – the FA Cup final, the UEFA Champions League final and the UEFA Euro 2016 final.
Clattenburg, who became an assistant referee in the Northern League at 18, has reportedly grown unhappy with the level of public support officials are given by PGMOL and he has been linked with various lucrative moves abroad.
With no Premier League fixtures this weekend, Clattenburg’s final top-flight game was Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Hull City on Saturday – another game with a refereeing controversy when Alexis Sanchez’s opening goal was down to a missed handball.
Hull have been fined £20,000 for failing to control their players, who surrounded Clattenburg following his decision to show Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs a yellow rather than red card for fouling Lazar Markovic when the winger was clear on goal.
Clattenburg has been a FIFA referee since 2006 and officiated the Olympic men’s football final at London 2012.