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Referee discusses incident with James McClean that wound him up

Mark Clattenburg admits that James McClean managed to wind him up during a Championship play-off semi-final in 2014.

Taking charge of the second leg between Queens Park Rangers and Wigan Athletic, Mark Clattenburg has recalled an altercation with James McClean that left him wanting greater punishment for players found guilty of simulation.

Clattenburg appeared on Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast in recent days and after discussions about Jose Mourinho and Roy Keane, the official was asked to name the worst diver in football.

Clattenburg responded by revealing his experience with McClean, then at Wigan, who saw the funny side when he was booked for attempting to win a penalty.

“Good question,” Clattenburg answered. “I had a big problem and it wound me up once with a player called James McClean, an Irish boy.

James McClean

“He was playing for Wigan against QPR in a play-off – and Football League play-offs were massive, huge games – they were winning 1-0 and he went to go around Rob Green.

“I had a great position and I saw him dive. As he went over, he looked for the penalty and he appealed for the penalty but I gave him the yellow card for diving.

Mark Clattenburg

“He turned around and said, ‘So what? I’m a winger! It’s only a yellow card but if you’d given me a second yellow card, you would have been killed.’

“And he was right! If I’d have given the penalty, I’d have been crucified and he only got a yellow card.

“That used to wind me up as a ref because I thought there should have been more punishment for diving because it’s the worst thing in football.

“Because he was a winger, he was laughing and thinking, ‘I’m never going to get another f**king yellow card’.”

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