Arsene Wenger criticises Chelsea for going public over Mark Clattenburg allegations

Arsenal manager says London rivals have 'little proof' that referee abused Mikel during Sunday's match

Arsène Wenger yesterday warned Chelsea that they should have tried to resolve the escalating Mark Clattenburg affair in private before taking their allegations of racism to the Football Association.

At his weekly press conference, the Arsenal manager responded to questions about the race row that has unfolded over the last week by suggesting that Chelsea had advanced quickly to a stage where there was now an FA and Metropolitan police investigation into Clattenburg with "little proof".

His comments came as the FA's governance department prepares to get into the serious work of deciding whether there is sufficient evidence to produce a charge against Clattenburg. The police are making their own inquiries in partnership with the governing body.

The police have also been called in by Chelsea to consider photographs taken during Wednesday's 5-4 League Cup win over Manchester United in which a home fan in Stamford Bridge's Matthew Harding Stand appears to be making monkey gestures at Danny Welbeck.

Wenger said yesterday that it was his policy to try to resolve disputes with a referee in the aftermath of the game. He said: "I prefer, when I didn't behave well, to have an explanation [discussion] with the referee at the end of the game, or on another day, rather than going public with little proof. I'm not a great believer in making these stories public.

"My deep feeling is that I was not always behaving very well in this situation, because they are very heated situations. But I am a deep supporter of doing that internally."

"For example, the last two nights [in the League Cup] were great adverts for football and that is absolutely fantastic. For the rest, I believe that one of the great things in sport is that when the battle is on, especially in England, you can sort out the problems you have internally.

"If it becomes a sport to make the lawyers rich then I am not a fan of it. One of the great things in sport 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."

His remarks came the day after Chelsea filed an official complaint that Clattenburg used "inappropriate language" – in this case a racist slur – towards John Obi Mikel during the Premier League game against United on Sunday. The FA governance department, under the leadership of Darren Bailey, is now in a position to gather evidence from Mikel and other Chelsea players.

Chelsea are hopeful of tracking down the supporter who made the gesture towards Welbeck – and was caught by a photographer – via the stadium's CCTV and their own records of ticket sales for the part of the stand he was sitting in. The club operates a tiered membership policy and Wednesday's game was not on general sale to the public so the club are confident of finding out, at the very least, to whom the offending fan's ticket was sold.

Chelsea are also studying footage from within the stadium to try to identify the Manchester United supporter who ran on to the pitch and managed to get back into the stand before the stewards could catch him. They are also investigating the use of smoke flares by the United fans.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee