Referee Clattenburg Under Investigation by FA and Police


Mark Clattenburg Under Investigation by FA and Police

Elite referee Mark Clattenburg will have to fight to save his career after the FA and police department began formal investigations into allegations that Clattenburg racially abused Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel during Sunday’s tie between Chelsea and Man Utd.

Clattenburg complied with FA regulations by filing an ‘extraordinary incident’ report on Monday related to his handling of red cards and other controversial matters during Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat by Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, ..

Clattenburg has denied making any inappropriate comments and his account will be backed by assistants Michael McDonough and Simon Long, and fourth official Mike Jones.

Mikel reportedly did not hear the alleged abuse. However the account or racial abuse has been backed up by two Chelsea players, Brazilian Ramires and David Luiz, who are both prepared to make statements.

The £85,000-a-year official has been taken off this weekend’s Premier League match list as the FA compliance department begins a top-level inquiry.

Police will begin an investigation after Peter Herbert, chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, wrote asking them to open up an investigation into Clattenburg’s conduct. The investigation could damage the FA’s hopes of a speedy resolution, after waiting for a police inquiry to end in John Terry’s recent case ultimately took nearly a year.

The investigation will jeopardise Clattenburg’s standing in the game and could affect his chances of making it on to the FIFA list for the 2014 World Cup.

In addition to Clattenburg’s initial incident report, he will be asked to provide a detailed statement of the controversial incidents.

Chelsea allege Clattenburg used ‘inappropriate language’ in two separate exchanges with Mikel and Chelsea winger Juan Mata.

Assistants McDonough and Long and fourth official Jones will provide additional statements for the FA’s compliance department.

They wore ‘crystal clear’ wireless technology microphones which suppress crowd noise and allow officials to communicate without distraction. Although the conversations are not recorded, Professional Game Match Officials sources claim it is ‘inconceivable’ that the use of an offensive or inappropriate phrase would not have been heard by the officials.

‘PGMO believe that, with any football match, the focus should not be on the officials but on the players and the game itself. Mark Clattenburg is one of the elite referees in world football and, in these circumstances, the intense level of scrutiny would detract from the match and be unfair to the clubs and the supporters of both sides.’

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