Popular English referee Mark Clattenburg will be leaving the English Premier League, the referee governing body has announced.

Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) said he had been “a great asset” and “an inspiration to those who want to get into refereeing”.

Its statement added: “We understand this is an exciting opportunity for Mark, and it further underlines the high esteem for English match officials throughout the world game.”

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Clattenburg’s first game as a Football League referee was in 2000, and has since grown to become one of the most respected referees in the world.

Last year, he officiated the Euro 2016 final, the Champions League final and the FA Cup final.

Clattenburg, who had previously considered officiating in China, will now be heading to Saudi Arabia in the next couple days.

His exact position in Saudi Arabia is however not known.