'Racism has no place in football': Statement from Mark Clattenburg

 

Mark Clattenburg spoke of his relief and said the last few weeks had been "the most stressful of his life".

He said: "I am looking forward to putting this behind me and concentrating on refereeing in the Premier League and other competitions.

"I am extremely grateful for the invaluable support of my family, my Select Group colleagues, the management of Professional Game Match Officials Limited and our union Prospect. The messages of encouragement from those inside and outside of the game have helped me through the most stressful time of my professional life.

"To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening.

"Racism has no place in football and this experience should not discourage those to speak out if they genuinely believe they are a victim of abuse.

"However, there are processes that should be adhered in order that any investigation can be carried out in a manner that is fair for all parties involved.

"I know first-hand the ramifications of allegations of this nature being placed into the public domain ahead of a formal process and investigation. I hope no referee has to go through this in the future.

"We are all fortunate to be working in the worlds most watched and scrutinised football league. With that comes a responsibility in regard to how the different parts of the game work together.

"What has happened over the last few weeks should not overshadow the fact the on-pitch relationship between match officials, players and managers is the best we've ever known it.

"We are proud of the integrity of refereeing in this country and I cannot wait to be back involved in the game I care so passionately about."

PA

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