Chelsea allege referee Mark Clattenburg made inappropriate remark to John Obi Mikel

 

The race issue exploded again in English football last night when Chelsea made an official complaint about referee Mark Clattenburg who is alleged to have made a comment of a racial nature to John Obi Mikel following the club’s controversial defeat 3-2 to Manchester United yesterday.

The club said in a statement that Clattenburg used “ inappropriate language” towards two of their players in separate incidents during the game. Although early reports said that the players in question were both black it is understood that one was Mikel and the other was a white player who was allegedly the subject of another inappropriate comment that time of a non-racial kind.

The complaint was made to the Premier League match delegate at Stamford Bridge who is duty bound to pass it on to the Football Association today in his report. Clattenburg attracted criticism from Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo after the game for two crucial decisions. He dismissed Fernando Torres for a second yellow card awarded for what was judged by the referee as a dive and permitted Javier Hernandez’s clear offside goal to stand.

Crucially all Clattenburg’s conversations during the game would have been audible to his two assistants Michael McDonough and Simon Long as well as the fourth official Michael Jones, who are all connected by audio headsets. There is no black box equivalent which records those exchanges. The evidence of those three men will be vital should, as seems inevitable, the incident be investigated by the FA.

Roberto Di Matteo, who was critical of Clattenburg’s decisions, is understood to have visited him after the game. Mikel, whose identity as the player involved in the incident has not been officially confirmed, is also understood to have visited the referee’s room after the game to see Clattenburg.

In a statement, Chelsea spokesman Steve Atkins said yesterday: “ We have lodged a complaint to the Premier League match delegate with regards to inappropriate language used by the referee and directed at two of our players in two separate incidents in today’s match.”

Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO), which is the organisation responsible for the administration and development of Premier League referees, said in a statement last night: “PGMO is aware of the allegations and they are being treated with the utmost seriousness. Mark will co-operate fully and welcomes the opportunity for the facts to be established. No further comment will be made until this matter has been properly investigated."

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



 

The incident came when the Chelsea, and the game as a whole, was hoping to draw a line under the John Terry saga and his guilty verdict on a Football Association charge of racism towards Anton Ferdinand. The Chelsea captain was at the game yesterday and was around long after the final whistle on the pitch with friends.

Chelsea also had a major contribution from the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign before the game and referenced by Terry in his matchday programme notes. Both sets of players wore Kick It Out t-shirts in the warm-up, apart from Ashley Young although it was unclear why not.

Rio Ferdinand, brother of Anton, was booed by the home support although he did shake hands with Ashley Cole before the game. When Hernandez celebrated scoring the winner in front of the home supporters in the Matthew Harding stand, items were thrown from the crowd. A steward required treatment although the club said it was because he was knocked over in a crowd surge in the aftermath of the goal.

Di Matteo was very critical of Clattenburg’s decisions in his post-match press conference. “We are massively disappointed that these key decisions were wrong,” he said. “It always seems to be in favour of the opposition. That’s a massive disadvantage for us.

“I thought, at 2-2, we looked like the team that were probably going to win the game. So it’s a shame, because it was a good game of football with two good teams and the officials ruined it.”

Sir Alex Ferguson said after the game that Torres was to blame for his second yellow card following a challenge with Jonny Evans. “ Did he intend to dive? He could have gone on,” the United manager said. “I would never have gone down. I think it’s his own fault. He had already been booked.”

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?