For the first time ever in modern history, after the Second World War, England will not have a single referee representative at the World Cup in Russia this summer.
Mark Clattenburg indeed participated in the FIFA training for the tournament and was even in the preselected group back in 2016, but this was before he left the Premier League to leave for Saudi Arabia in February this year.
Despite the fact that this is an embarrassment for England, referee chief Mike Riley shared that there was no way they could possibly replace him.
“It is a disappointment, because we pride ourselves on the international games that our referees have had over the years, and if you look back over the last 10 years, no country has been more successful in that than we have,” said Riley, according to SkySports.
“But if you look at the process, Mark was included in the long list who were selected for preparation for the World Cup, and all those referees have been through a training programme,” Riley added.