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?
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
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

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits