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.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...