Mark Clattenburg has been praised after briefly halting Wednesday night’s Saudi King’s Cup clash between Al Feiha and Al Fateh so players could answer the evening call to prayer.
With the score level at 1-1 after 90 minutes, the encounter went into extra-time at the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Sport City Stadium. However, Clattenburg, the former Premier League official, opted to suspend play just five minutes into additional time when the call for prayer echoed across the stadium from a nearby mosque. Footage shows the two teams jostling for possession before the call to prayer begins and Clattenburg immediately blows his whistle to stop the game. Some players leave the pitch while others use the time to recover with the break lasting just over two minutes. The referee has won a number of plaudits for the gesture on social media:
Al Feiha went on to secure a late 2-1 win thanks to an 118th-minute strike from Sami Al Khaibari. Clattenburg has occupied the role of Head of Refereeing in Saudi Arabia since February 2017. The 42-year-old Englishman took charge of the finals of Euro 2016 and has overseen both the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup final during his career.
Source: Daily Mail