Police must now decide if Mark Clattenburg has criminal case to answer for 'inappropriate language'


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The Independent Football

Chelsea players are at the heart of another police inquiry. Yet the case appears very different from the Terry saga. The Metropolitan police have launched an investigation after an initial complaint by Peter Herbert, from the Society of Black Lawyers. That is sufficient to spark an inquiry – even though there has been no complaint from Chelsea or the Football Association. Met officers are liaising with both the club and FA. Police are expected to speak with those involved. This comes almost a year after John Terry was accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand which resulted in a criminal prosecution. Those allegations – abusive racist words used by Terry – were seen on TV. There is no such obvious evidence in the Clattenburg case. If officers believe there is a case to answer they will consult with the Crown Prosecution Service before any criminal charge is laid. As in all cases, prosecutors must decide if there is sufficient evidence for a "realistic prospect of conviction" and whether it is in the public interest to follow through with the case.

Whatever the circumstances, the dispute has the potential to rumble on: John Terry was charged after a five-week police inquiry and two months after the match took place.