MARK CLATTENBURG: I’m sorry, but I wanted England to be eliminated from the Euro 2016 so that I could get to the final! Life as a referee at a major tournament is kind of a roller coaster ride … especially with Daily Mail photographers hanging out!
Here’s a tip for all referees heading for Euro 2020 – if you want to have a beer the night before the tournament, make sure there isn’t a Daily Mail photographer hanging out!
I was pictured by this newspaper leaving a bar at our pre-tournament training camp near Paris in 2016 and it raised an eyebrow or two.
It didn’t hurt me – after all, I’m the referee in the final! And what a feeling it was to come after the FA Cup and Champions League finals earlier this year.
I was pictured leaving a bar at our training camp before the EM 2016, which raised my eyebrows
But it didn’t hurt me, I led the final between Portugal and France
Our representatives this summer are Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor, and that’s fair. They’re the best of the Premier League, even if that group gets weaker, not stronger.
But they need a bit of luck to go far in the tournament – like I did five years ago. By that I mean luck both in the games you run and in others.
First of all, England must be eliminated as soon as possible. I’m a huge England fan and it will be nice to cheer them on this time because in 2016 I wanted them to clear my way.
Our representatives this summer are Michael Oliver (right) and Anthony Taylor (left)
Any referee from any country would be lying if they said anything else – we’re all here to try to get to the semi-finals or the final.
I benefited when England lost to Iceland in the round of 16, just as Howard Webb did when he ran the 2010 World Cup after we were knocked out by Germany in the second round.
I was also worried about Wales in 2016 as we weren’t allowed to run the Home Nations and they made it to the bottom four! That was great for them, but if they made it to the final, my dream would be over.
So life as a referee at a major tournament is like a roller coaster ride – I almost cried when Wales beat Belgium in the quarter-finals!
GOOD RIDDANCE TO ARMPIT OFFSIDES
Here’s some good news for the Euro – we shouldn’t see goals being denied when toenails and armpits are offside.
UEFA has instructed the VAR to only show viewers their final lines when offside decisions are made.
But those lines are going to be a little thicker than the ones we see in the Premier League, which gives you more tolerance. So if it’s not an obvious offside, the goal remains.
It’s much better for the game. In a big tournament, emotions are high and you can’t make an entire nation wait two or three minutes before scoring a goal.
The other big change is the new handball law.
We won’t see the VAR decline and refuse goals if a teammate of the goalscorer accidentally plays in the build-up.
In addition, the goalscorer will not be penalized unless his accidental handball leads directly to a goal, e.g. B. If the ball falls at his feet just in front of his goal or he goes into the net with his hand or arm.
As for my own games, I’ve managed to avoid major controversy, which is key. If you make negative headlines, that’s done – tournaments are so brutal.
It’s about self-preservation and that changes the way you think. It’s not like the Premier League, where there’s another game coming up the following weekend.
This is knockout football for referees too! Get it ready and you go home.
The pressure is immense, the fear of failure and humiliation greater than ever.
I benefited when England lost to Iceland in the round of 16 because we weren’t allowed to run the home countries
So after my final, in which Portugal beat France 1-0 in extra time, I was relieved that I survived it unscathed.
I don’t think I was very good at refereing that night, but that was that I was picky about myself – the rest of the world was fine with it.
Then we celebrated with our women in Paris over lunch and a few beers – and no Daily Mail photographer was in sight!