The Egypt FA introduced Clattenburg in a press conference on Thursday, one day after his appointment as the head of a new committee to develop Egyptian referees. “My target is to have an Egyptian referee at the World Cup,” Clattenburg told the press conference. “It is difficult to evaluate the performance of the Egyptian referees as I was not here for a long time,” the Englishman said. “I will follow the upcoming league games and I will evaluate the referees’ performance and statistics,” he added. “We will have a training programme for the referees with coaches from FIFA to prepare them for the coming period,” Clattenburg announced. Clattenburg is one of the most decorated English referees, having officiated in the Premier League for 13 years. He also took charge of a number of high-profile games in Europe, including the Euro 2016 final and the Champions League final in the same year.
Despite the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in Egyptian football, the referees have come under fire from the majority of Premier League clubs this season. “One of the problems that I suffered from in Greece was the VAR, as there is always a problem between the referee and the VAR official,” Clattenburg said. Many contentious decisions have dominated headlines, with Cairo giants Ahly repeatedly asking for foreign referees to take charge of their respective games. The EFA said it would allow foreigners to officiate domestic games as long as the concerned clubs cover all expenses. “The referee needed a long time to review the decision, but that will be changed as he will only have 33 seconds to review the situation,” the Englishman added. “In Egypt we will need a learning programme to reduce the mistakes,” Clattenburg concluded.
In early 2017, Clattenburg left the Premier League and replaced fellow Englishman Howard Webb as the head of Saudi Arabia's refereeing committee. Two years later, he became a professional referee in China and then moved to Greece.