Referee cleared in Chelsea racism case

CHRIS LEHOURITES
Last updated 07:38 23/11/2012
Mark Clattenburg
Reuters
SEEING YELLOW: Referee Mark Clattenburg has been cleared of racism accusations made by Chelsea's John Obi Mikel.

Relevant offers

Football

Eastern Suburbs beat Tasman United to go top of the premiership table Liverpool concede three late goals to hand Bournemouth first-time victory Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes temporarily deaf after being hit with fireworks Top-class Henrique brace helps Adelaide United put Wellington Phoenix away with ease Ninkovic, Ibini guide Sydney to Jets win Live: Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United - A-League week nine Tom Jackson hat-trick leads Team Wellington to victory over Southern United Recap: Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC - A-League week nine Late drama as Capital women book spot in national league final with penalty shootout win over WaiBOP Canterbury United fail to fire in front of goal in loss to Waitakere

Referee Mark Clattenburg has been cleared by the English Football Association of using racist language toward a Chelsea player during a Premier League match.

Chelsea midfielder Ramires said he heard Clattenburg tell teammate John Obi Mikel "shut up you monkey" during the October 28 match against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, but the FA decided there was no evidence to back up the accusation.

"The FA has concluded its investigation into alleged misconduct by Mark Clattenburg," the FA said in a statement on its website. "In view of all the circumstances of the case, the FA does not believe that there is a case for Mr Clattenburg to answer."

According to the FA statement, Mikel did not hear what Ramires claimed Clattenburg said.

"To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening," Clattenburg said in a statement. "I hope no referee has to go through this in the future."

Both the Chelsea players are black. Mikel is from Nigeria and Ramires from Brazil.

"Chelsea Football Club accepts the Football Association's decision regarding Mark Clattenburg and welcomes the fact that the FA recognises the club and players were correct in reporting the matter," Chelsea said.

The decision came on the same day that Rafa Benitez took over as Chelsea's new manager, replacing the fired Roberto Di Matteo.

Separately, Mikel was charged with misconduct by the FA for "threatening and/or abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" after the game when he reportedly went into the referee's changing room to confront Clattenburg. Mikel has until November 30 to respond to the charge.

The FA came to its decision on Clattenburg after reviewing witness statements from Chelsea players and officials, interviewing all four match officials and viewing unbroadcast television footage from Chelsea.

The incident was also looked at by London's police force after a complaint by the head of the Society of Black Lawyers, but the investigation was dropped.

The FA said the evidence for the allegation came only from Ramires, who said he overheard Clattenburg speaking to Mikel.

"Ramires, whose first language is not English, explained that his instinctive reaction was to seek confirmation from John Obi Mikel as to what the referee had said," the FA said.

"Equally, the FA is satisfied that the allegation against Mark Clattenburg by Ramires was made in good faith. It is entirely possible for a witness to be genuinely mistaken and convincing in his belief."

Ad Feedback

Clattenburg is one of the FIFA candidates to referee at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Burnley retain their EPL status?

Yes, they've found a winning formula

Maybe, but there’s a long way to go

No. They lack quality in certain areas

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content