Mark Clattenburg, soccer referee, flees Egypt after gay rumors surface
Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg moved to Egypt last summer when he was appointed to head a referee development committee aimed at improving the quality of refereeing in the professional football league of the North African countries.
But now he’s on the run because of seemingly false rumors about his sexuality.
The president of one of Egypt’s top soccer teams, Zamalek Sporting Club, has sparked a rumor that Clattenburg left his wife and started a same-sex romance, reports the UK’s Daily Star.
The executive in question, Mortada Mansour, has been one of Clattenburg’s harshest critics since his move, according to the Daily Star.
Since the allegations were made, Clattenburg has been the victim of widespread abuse and mistreatment.
Homosexual activity is prohibited by Egypt’s penal code, and security officials have been known to torture and abuse LGBTQ people.
In addition to personal attacks, Clattenburg allegedly suffered professional retaliation. The Sun, another British tabloid, says he hasn’t been paid for two months.
The Egyptian Football Association is apparently planning to hold an emergency meeting over the matter.
Clatternburg left the Premier League in 2017 to work as head referee in Saudi Arabia. He also lived in Greece and China.
It’s a weird story. We will update when more information becomes available.