Chelsea lodge FA complaint over Mark Clattenburg

Chelsea lodge complaint with FA about Clattenburg's 'racial abuse' of Mikel BUT drop allegation regarding Mata

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UPDATED:

19:39 GMT, 31 October 2012

Back so soon, lads

Chelsea and Manchester United lock horns again tonight in the Capital One League Cup – and you can follow the live action HERE

Chelsea have lodged a formal complaint with the Football Association which accuses referee Mark Clattenburg of using inappropriate language directed at John Obi Mikel during Sunday's Premier League defeat to Manchester United.

The club, though, say there is not enough evidence to support the second allegation of abuse towards Spanish midfielder Juan Mata.

The future of Clattenburg could come
down to whether he used the word ‘monkey’ in his exchange with Mikel.
The Consett official categorically denies the allegations.

In a statement on their website, Chelsea said: 'This is a result of a thorough investigation carried out by the club, and led by outside legal counsel, of all information available to us including interviews with a number of players and staff.

'Following Sunday's Premier League game against Manchester United, club board members were quickly made aware, upon entering the home dressing room after the final whistle, that there were allegations of inappropriate language directed at Chelsea FC players by Mr Clattenburg during the game.

Row: Chelsea have lodged an official complaint about the way Mark Clattenburg spoke to John Obi Mikel

Row: Chelsea have lodged an official complaint about the way Mark Clattenburg spoke to John Obi Mikel

Row: Chelsea have lodged an official complaint with the FA over the way in which Mark Clattenburg spoke to John Obi Mikel

'Board members began establishing the details of the allegations, speaking to all relevant players and staff.

'After those initial interviews it was clear that the matter had to be reported. The correct protocol for doing so was to report the incidents to the match delegate, and the club took immediate steps to inform him as soon as he was available. It was not a decision the club took lightly.

'Since reporting the matter to the delegate, the club and outside legal counsel have conducted further investigations. Having completed that process we have now followed the correct protocol and lodged a formal complaint with The FA regarding John Mikel Obi.

'There was not sufficient evidence to support a second claim to The FA with regard to the alleged verbal abuse of another first team player.

'We will cooperate fully with The FA and the Police as they each investigate the matter. As events on Sunday are now subject to those investigations we are unable to comment further until those processes are complete.'

Mikel was selected for Wednesday night's Carling Cup tie against Manchester United, and Roberto di Matteo said he had little doubt all his players would be able to focus on football.

He said: 'I am very confident we can fully focus on the game. I always speak to my players before the game and today they are OK to play. I hope we have the right motivation to go out and win this game.'

'We have some suspensions and injuries and it is a chance to refresh the team because we played with 10 and nine men [on Sunday], which cost us a lot.'

Sir Alex Ferguson added: 'I don't think Sunday will make any difference. It is a cup tie so hopefully we can navigate it and progress.'

The Sun newspaper has reported that Nigeria midfielder Mikel, who did not hear the alleged racist slur, was told by team-mate Ramires that he was a called ‘a monkey’ in the match against Manchester United on Sunday.

When Ramires told Mikel that he thought he’d been called ‘a monkey’, at least three members of the Chelsea playing and coaching staff asked: ‘Are you certain’.

Shocked: The initial claims regarding Juan Mata, though, will not be pursued by the club

Shocked: The initial claims regarding Juan Mata, though, will not be pursued by the club

Shocked: The initial claims regarding Juan Mata, though, will not be pursued by the club
CHELSEA STATEMENT IN FULL

'Chelsea Football Club today lodged a formal complaint with The Football Association regarding inappropriate language directed at John Mikel Obi by referee Mark Clattenburg. This is a result of a thorough investigation carried out by the club, and led by outside legal counsel, of all information available to us including interviews with a number of players and staff.

'Following Sunday's Premier League game against Manchester United, club board members were quickly made aware, upon entering the home dressing room after the final whistle, that there were allegations of inappropriate language directed at Chelsea FC players by Mr Clattenburg during the game.

'Board members began establishing the details of the allegations, speaking to all relevant players and staff. After those initial interviews it was clear that the matter had to be reported. The correct protocol for doing so was to report the incidents to the match delegate, and the club took immediate steps to inform him as soon as he was available. It was not a decision the club took lightly.

'Since reporting the matter to the delegate, the club and outside legal counsel have conducted further investigations. Having completed that process we have now followed the correct protocol and lodged a formal complaint with The FA regarding John Mikel Obi. There was not sufficient evidence to support a second claim to The FA with regard to the alleged verbal abuse of another first team player.

'We will cooperate fully with The FA and the Police as they each investigate the matter. As events on Sunday are now subject to those investigations we are unable to comment further until those processes are complete.'

He was questioned by team-mates and staff who asked if, with Clattenburg speaking with such a strong North East accent, the official had said ‘shut up, Mikel’, rather than ‘shut up, monkey’, which has been alleged.

Ramires, who does not speak fluent English is adamant that he heard the slur, although Clattenburg denies the claims and is supported by his two assistants.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sportsmail revealed Clattenburg has admitted privately that he wished he had not sent off Fernando Torres in Sunday's toxic fixture.

There is no facility for Chelsea to
appeal Torres' dismissal. Regulations stipulate that second yellow cards
cannot be rescinded. The Spain striker will, therefore, serve his
one-match ban tonight when the two sides meet again at Stamford Bridge
in the Capital One Cup.

In the days following the controversial match, Chelsea employed independent lawyers to investigate the claims, which included an allegation that Mata was called a 'Spanish t***'.

Chelsea have proceeded with the case, satisfied that the claims game will stand up to the FA’s burden of proof.

The club must satisfy an FA commission 'on the balance of probability', but they also have to negotiate the complexities of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into the affair.

The Met confirmed they had acted on a ‘complaint’ from the Society of Black Lawyers after the European champions accused Clattenburg, who has been taken off the Premier League match list this weekend, of using racist comments.

There are suggestions of seething resentment in some quarters at the way Chelsea had made their complaint public and a desire to see strong action taken against them if the official was cleared.

The Metropolitan Police have became embroiled in their second high-profile football racism case in 12 months after the man behind the mooted black players’ breakaway union, Peter Herbert, wrote to them demanding they investigate Clattenburg.

Herbert defended his intervention, telling Sky Sports News: ‘What we don’t want is for it to be swept away under the carpet. It must be subject to a full and proper investigation. It is to lend some seriousness and some weight behind what is happening in football.’

Herbert admitted his complaint was based on reports rather than first-hand evidence but added: ‘We weren’t there but we don’t need to be there in order to report an incident.

Crucial moment: Clattenburg has admitted he wishes he had not sent off Fernando Torres

Crucial moment: Clattenburg has admitted he wishes he had not sent off Fernando Torres

Was there contact Torres was sent off for diving, but this screen grab seems to show Evans making contact

Was there contact Torres was sent off for diving, but this screen grab seems to show Evans making contact

‘This appears to have had some cogency and so it needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. I think the Met Police have huge resources, expertise, and I have no doubt that this matter will be resolved and the truth will come out. If we’ve got this completely wrong then, of course, the police will tell us.’

But Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor said: ‘Involving police or waiting causes a massive festering of the issue, which has continued to cause problems and is not good for the image of the game.

VIDEO: Clattenburg and Mikel have words on the pitch…

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