Wigan Athletics Premier League match against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday will be refereed by Mark Clattenburg who started refereeing at the age of 15 as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
At 34 he is one of the youngest top flight referees and also one of the best, in my opinion, not afraid to make decisions and not afraid to make his point, he proved this when earlier this season he came out in defence of the under fire Alan Wiley when he was attacked by Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson, Clattenburg quickly responded to the taunts on his colleagues fitness levels with: ‘You just try to be in the best position to make a decision and, forget about the politics of Alan`s fitness levels, if you look back at his decision-making in that game it was practically faultless’
‘So if we are looking from a refereeing point of view, forget the politics, he called most things right. I could be two metres away and still not see it. I could be 20 metres away and see it. So what`s right and what`s wrong?
‘All Premier League football is so fast and I think we will accept that. The laws of the game are different. Even the back-pass law has increased the speed of the game. The multi-ball system in different stadiums has increased it.
‘Crowds are more compact, so the ball comes back quicker. As a referee you are wanting to draw breath, but you don`t try to take a natural breather.’
Clattenburg has already refereed the Latics four times this season, the opening day win at Aston Villa, the 2-1 defeat at Hull, our home draw against Blackburn and the draw in the FA Cup 4th round away at Notts County.
Mark Clattenburg has had 35 games so far this season issuing 90 yellow cards and 5 reds
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