Referees to discuss action over Chelsea's failure to apologise to Clattenburg

Select referees' group set to discuss possible action against club at meeting on Monday

The country’s select group referees will discuss on Monday whether they should press for action against Chelsea if the club do not apologise to Mark Clattenburg for their allegations of racism against him, which were dismissed yesterday by the Football Association.

There is understood to be a mood of militancy among the match officials group, with some individuals extremely angry that in Chelsea’s statement yesterday there was no apology or even acknowledgement of the distress that Clattenburg has been put through.

What action might be left open to them is not yet clear and, although they have proved a group who in the past have been reluctant to protest, the subject of Chelsea will be on the agenda at their regular PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials) meeting on Monday at the FA centre St George’s Park.

Last night, the match officials’ union Prospect last night publicly called upon Chelsea to apologise to the referee and pay him compensation, although Clattenburg himself stopped short of doing so personally.

There are understood to be talks between PGMOL, and its general manager Mike Riley, and Chelsea aimed at trying to persuade the club to make some kind of apology to Clattenburg.

Clattenburg’s representative Alan Leighton said that the charge was based on the 'flimsiest of evidence' and said that the club should never have gone public on allegations made by midfielder Ramires that, during the game at Stamford Bridge against Manchester United on 28 October, the referee had said 'shut up you monkey' to John Obi Mikel.

Yesterday, the FA said that Clattenburg did not have a case to answer and that the testimony of Ramires had not crossed 'the evidential threshold required to bring a charge'.

However, the governing body also cleared Chelsea of any malicious wrongdoing in bringing the complaint and said it was right to do so. The club do not believe they have any reason to apologise given their decision was vindicated by the FA.

In the judgement of David Waters QC, who considered the evidence gathered by the FA’s governance department, the allegation was, the FA said, 'made in good faith'. 'In this case, the player and club were correct in reporting the matter to the FA and it was appropriate and proper for such an allegation to be thoroughly investigated.'

The FA said: 'It is entirely possible for a witness to be genuinely mistaken and convincing in his belief. The FA receives and investigates numerous allegations of misconduct over the course of a season. All allegations are properly investigated. It is not uncommon for investigations to lead to no disciplinary charge being brought.'

In a statement yesterday, Chelsea said simply that they accepted “case is now concluded”. There is understood to be a fear among referees that they are offered no protection against such damaging allegations being made public, a point Clattenburg made in a statement following the judgement yesterday.

He said: “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.”

Leighton said that the case had never reached such an advanced stage and as well as compensation to Clattenburg called upon Chelsea to make donations to anti-racism charities. He said: 'The charge was based on the flimsiest evidence that should never have got to this stage. It should never have been made public and should have been dealt with confidentially.

”We are not criticising Chelsea because they investigated the complaint —they had a duty of care. Rather the evidence consisted of just one statement and that is why they shouldn't have gone public.“

Mikel was charged with misconduct by the FA for his abuse of Clattenburg in the referee’s room after the game. Chelsea said that the player does not deny the charge but will request a personal hearing 'to explain the mitigating circumstances.'

In light of the episode, PGMOL said that they would now record all the dialogue transmitted on headsets between referees and their assistants in order to clarify any possible future complaints. The recordings will not be made public.

Speaking for the first time about the allegations, Clattenburg said: '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.

The FA laid out a detailed chronology of their investigation, in which Ramires, Mikel and other players, including Ashley Cole, were interviewed. Ramires was interviewed twice. His evidence was considered by the FA to be 'contradicted by other witnesses' and 'not supported by any other evidence'.

The FA confirmed that Mikel 'who was much closer to the referee' did not hear anything and the three officials connected to Clattenburg by headsets were 'adamant the alleged words were not uttered'. The FA said that it encouraged players to report discriminatory abuse.

How FA judged case: Statement extracts

The Football Association's statement was broken into three parts.

Chronology

"On 5 November 2012, Chelsea FC provided the FA with witness statements. The FA interviewed Ramires and John Obi Mikel. Between 7-8 November, the FA interviewed all four match officials. On 15 November, the FA reinterviewed Ramires to show him previously unseen video footage provided by the club."

Essential facts

"Evidence for the allegation came from Ramires, whose first language is not English. [He] explained his instinctive reaction was to seek confirmation from John Obi Mikel as to what the referee said. There is nothing in the video footage to support the allegation. Three witnesses, the other match officials, to whom everything said by referee was relayed, are adamant the alleged words were not uttered."

Decision

"Having considered Counsel's opinion, and in view of all the circumstances, the FA does not believe there is a case for Mr Clattenburg to answer... Equally the FA is satisfied that the allegation against Mark Clattenburg by Ramires was made in good faith. It is entirely possible for a witness to be genuinely mistaken and convincing in his belief."

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
Sport
Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
football
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
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: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015