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English referee suspended over debts allegation

SoccerNews in English Premier League 7 Aug 2008

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One of England's most prominent soccer referees, Mark Clattenburg, has been suspended while enquiries are made into his business dealings, the English Football Association announced Thursday.

A joint statement from the FA and the referees' organisation, the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, said the move was made because of “media reports concerning alleged debts incurred by companies connected to referee Mark Clattenburg.”

The announcement added: “It has been decided he will not officiate any matches pending enquiries into the background to these reports.”

Clattenburg was due to officiate at Sunday's FA Community Shield match between Manchester United and Portsmouth but he has been replaced by another referee, Peter Walton. He will also miss the start of the English Premier league season, which begins on Saturday August 16.

Before becoming a professional referee, 33 year old Clattenburg was an electrician and ran a company with a business partner, John Hepworth. The firm allegedly failed to pay off debts to Hepworth, Britain's Sun newspaper reported.

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