Match abandoned in China so referee can catch flight

A football match in the Chinese second tier was abandoned early so the referee could go and catch a flight.

The first half of the match between Hangzhou Greentown’s reserve side and Meixian Techand lasted only 40 minutes and the second was cut short after 38 minutes. The referee felt he needed to leave early because there is only one flight scheduled daily at the nearest airport. 

The Chinese Football Association are investigating the incident. 

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg was once banned from officiating for two matches after he broke protocol in 2014 in order to make it back to Newcastle in time to see Ed Sheeran perform at the Metro Radio Arena. He travelled back from the match he officiated alone, while the rules of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited state that officials must travel to and from the ground together to protect their integrity and security. 


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