Joe Marler has slammed former football referee Mark Clattenburg for his ‘disrespectful and archaic’ views of female referees in professional sport.
The ex-Premiers League whistle bllower was asked for his views on female officials in football after Sara Cox became the first woman to referee a Premiership rugby match last weekend.
“It’s a big point,” Clattenburg told talkSPORT. “We always had a [female] assistant referee in the Premier League, Sian Massey[-Ellis], and we now have a woman refereeing in the Football League, Rebecca Welch, so women are starting to develop in the men’s game.
“If you look at Uefa, for example, the French woman refereed the Super Cup final, so Uefa are getting more and more women.
“The problem with women is, and certainly in refereeing in football, they have a difficult pathway if they get pregnant during their refereeing career – it can stop them a long way. So they have to make this choice: do they want to be pregnant or do they want to be referees?”
Marler responded to the views on Twitter, saying: “Jesus Christ – Clattenburg’s response to my question about female referees in football on @talkSPORT this morning was disrespectful and archaic – @SaraCoxRef leading the way with the way the world should be.”
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#5. Chris Robshaw (England)
Owens said: Some people will be surprised at this one to start off. His misfortune was perhaps to be leading England during a difficult time, but he always gave everything for the cause, encouraging others to follow suit, and he was a nice guy off the pitch.”