Mark Clattenburg assistants set to give full backing to referee over 'inappropriate language' allegations

 

The two assistant referees and fourth official on duty in Sunday's controversial Chelsea-Manchester United clash look set to give their full support to referee Mark Clattenburg in the Football Association's forthcoming investigation, Press Association Sport understands.

Last night Chelsea lodged a formal complaint with the FA over the "inappropriate language" they claim Clattenburg used against John Obi Mikel in their 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

The west London club have submitted a dossier of evidence which contains accounts given by the players, who allege the 37-year-old official used a term which has been interpreted as racist.

Clattenburg denies the allegation and it is understood that assistant referees Michael McDonough and Simon Long and fourth official Michael Jones also believe he is innocent.

Press Association Sport understands the trio did not hear anything untoward from the referee during the match on their linked headsets and are expected to say as much in any testimony given to the FA.

It is understood that the professional refereeing community as a whole has been deeply upset by the allegation against Clattenburg, who himself is determined to clear his name.

Other well-respected current and ex-referees will offer positive character references for Clattenburg's defence if the County Durham official has to answer any charges from the FA or the police, it is understood.

If the procedure for previous disciplinary cases is followed, Clattenburg is likely to be the last person that the FA interview as part of its enquiries.

It is expected that the body will firstly look at Chelsea's dossier and then speak to McDonough, Long and Jones before interviewing the man who was in charge of the game.

Chelsea last night released a statement confirming they had submitted a complaint over Clattenburg's alleged comments towards Nigeria midfielder Mikel.

The London club dropped a complaint regarding a comment alleged to have been made by Clattenburg to another of their players, thought to be Juan Mata.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger today said he would have dealt with the situation differently if it had arisen in one of his team's games.

He told a press conference: "My opinion is just, I prefer when I didn't behave well, that I have an explanation with the referee at the end of the game, or on another day, than going public with little proof you know.

"I'm not a great believer in making these stories public.

"I am a deep supporter of doing that internally," the Frenchman added.

"If (football) becomes a sport to make the lawyers rich, I am not a fan of it.

"One of the great things in sports as well is tolerance, forgiveness and explanation internally and I think it should stay like that.

"It can happen that a referee doesn't behave well, I do not say they are angels, but it is always better to sort it out in the room."

Earlier this week Neil Warnock launched an attack on Chelsea for their handling of the affair.

The Leeds boss, who will now face the Blues in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup, stands by the comments, his assistant Mick Jones said today.

Jones said: "People think (Warnock) says things off the hip but he doesn't, he thinks about things a lot and he's passionate about the Clattenburg thing.

"Believe it or not, he's pro-referees. There is no bigger supporter of referees than Neil Warnock. He won't regret it, he doesn't say things off the cuff, he is a thoughtful man."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats even when they are confronted with the hard-hitting scenes
Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
Sport
England’s opening goalscorer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain battles with Scotland’s Charlie Mulgrew
FootballEngland must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Life and Style
life
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

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines
Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?

What are Jaden and Willow on about?

Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?
Fridge gate: How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces

Cold war

How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces
Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

From dogs in cars to online etiquette, while away a few minutes in peace with one of these humorous, original and occasionally educational tomes
Malky Mackay appointed Wigan manager: Three texts keep Scot’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

Three texts keep Mackay’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

New Wigan manager said all the right things - but until the FA’s verdict is delivered he is still on probation, says Ian Herbert