Skip to content
Mark Clattenburg: Former Premier League referee criticized for ‘outdated’ comments on female referees

Clattenburg, who has refereed nearly 300 Premier League games and also oversaw the Champions League and European Championship finals in 2016, made the comments on talkSPORT radio in light of the fact that Sara Cox has become the first woman to officiate a Premiership rugby match last week.

“The problem with women, and certainly in refereeing, certainly in football, is that they have a difficult path if they get pregnant during their refereeing career, it can stop them in a long way,” Clattenburg said.

“So they have to make that choice – do they want to be pregnant, have kids, or do they want to be referees? “

He later added: “Women have to make this sacrifice because if they want to be pregnant – let’s say they get to a certain level of refereeing and then they want to get to that higher level – if you get pregnant it can cost you. dear two or three years of your life.Once you lose those three years, someone else takes your place.

Responding to the comments, Jane Purdon, CEO of Women in Football, said “Clattenburg’s judgment is far behind when it comes to referees and pregnancy.”

“Women of all professions face challenges balancing work and family,” said Purdon.

“The same goes for a lot of men, but for men it is never seen as a problem, and men are never expected to choose between the two.

“In fact, many women in elite sport are able to resume their athletic careers soon after childbirth. Others take longer to quit – either by choice or by necessity. None of these scenarios are ‘is a “problem”.

“The real problem is the assumptions about female biology and gender roles in child care, which are lazy, outdated, or just plain wrong.”

In the Premier League, Sian Massey-Ellis has been a match official since 2010; she explained how she defied doctor’s orders to reprise the role after giving birth to her first child.
Earlier this year, Rebecca Welch became the first female referee appointed to lead an English Football League game when she oversaw Port Vale’s 2-0 win over Harrogate Town.

Clattenburg also said that many female referees “struggle with the men’s fitness test” and added: “Sure, when you have a baby you’re out nine, 10 months. Then you’ll have another six months. to recover from your body, so it’s almost two years. Passing this men’s fitness test is very, very demanding. ”

Rugby player Joe Marler, who was playing for the Harlequins when Cox made his Premiership debut this weekend, then tweeted: “Clattenburg’s response to my question about female referees in football on @talkSPORT this morning was disrespectful and archaic. “

CNN was unable to get a response from Clattenburg to the critics.


cnn Sport Gt

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.