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06th Nov 2021

Mark Clattenburg admits he gave Atletico Madrid a penalty after offside mistake

Callum Boyle

“It was one of those perfect scenarios in refereeing.”

Mark Clattenburg admitted he gave Atletico Madrid a penalty in the 2016 Champions League final against Real Madrid for ‘balance’ after his assistant wrongly awarded Real an offside goal.

Real Madrid ended up beating their city rivals on penalties but it didn’t come without controversy after Sergio Ramos’ opener for Los Blancos was actually offside, something which Clattenburg admits should have been spotted.

Speaking on the The Brazilian Shirt Name Podcast he said: “When the ball gets delivered in from the free-kick, I knew there was a touch by Gareth Bale in the middle, which then put Ramos in who scored the goal.

“I spoke to the assistant [Simon Beck] and it was very difficult because of the noise. But I’m screaming down the earpiece saying ‘Do you know there was a touch in the middle?’

“He just froze, and I could see him looking at the big screen. I’m screaming at him, and I restart play, and he’s completely frozen. When you watch it back it’s a difficult decision to make of course, but one that I would expect my assistant to make [and award offside].”

Early into the second half at the final in Cardiff, Clattenburg then awarded Atletico a penalty after he deemed Fernando Torres to have been fouled in the box by Pepe, which he admits he gave in order to make up for the previous mistake in the first half.

“I was very fortunate in this final,” he said.

“Two or three minutes after half-time I’m presented with a really 50/50 penalty with [Fernando] Torres very clever getting in front of Pepe to draw a foul. Is it a foul? It’s very subjective. it’s one that you wouldn’t want to settle the game on that’s for sure. And I gave it, because it gives a balance back.

“If I don’t award that penalty then what would happen is Atletico would go: ‘We’ve [conceded] an offside goal, and we should have had a penalty.

“It was one of those perfect scenarios in refereeing. Pepe comes running and says: ‘Mark! That wasn’t a foul!’ We put the ball on the spot, [Antoine] Griezmann hits it and it hits the crossbar.

“I just thought, ‘Wow. This is my day. This is the perfect day in refereeing.’ I’m thinking, ‘Now they can’t blame me.’”