The Chinese Football Association (CFA) announced in Suzhou that they will form its own professional referee team including both domestic and overseas distinguished football referees. At the briefing, CFA confirmed that the professional referee team will be built by a combination of domestic elite referees and signed overseas professional referees. It was said that Ma Ning, Fu Ming, Zhang Lei and two foreign referees, Mark Clattenburg and Milorad Mazic, will become the first professional referees in China.
"Introducing the professional referee system will promote the comprehensive development of Chinese football referees, the levels and standards of referees will be improved to ensure all football leagues in China play a fair and impartial game", said Chen Yongliang, the director of CFA Super League. Chen also said that CFA Super League will set up special funds to encourage all teams to play with more net match time. The Super League will set the 60 minutes net match time goal for the teams. Any team which achieves the goal will be awarded with a "60 minutes net match time" trophy and 100,000 yuan ($15,000). The League will also set the "season net match time biggest improvement award" and the "highest season net match time award", they both required at least 55 minutes and will be grant one million and two million yuan ($150,000 and $300,000) respectively. Chen also said that the CFA Super League will publish the top 80 domestic players ranked by their comprehensive abilities in every round of the Super League Game. "It will help Chinese national football team pick players with more scientific basis", Chen said. (Source: China Daily
Mark Clattenburg will return to full-time refereeing in the Chinese Super League from 1 March 2019. The English official has finished a two-year stay as director of refereeing in Saudi Arabia and has accepted an offer from the Chinese Football Association. He will be one of five professional referees in the CSL from next month, including Serbian Milorad Mazic. We understand the move could open doors for foreign officials to take charge of matches in domestic competitions beyond their own country. Clattenburg, 43-year-old, presided over both the Champions League and European Championships finals in 2016 and he was the Premier League’s top referee when he quit two years ago and moved to Saudi. He told Sportsmail: “I’m excited by the new challenge. The Chinese Super League has grown markedly in recent years and they want the standard of refereeing to grow with it. I’m looking forward to being part of that. You look at the quality of the players, so many in the peak of their career, and it is clear to see the ambition of the league and the clubs within it.” (Source: Daily Mail