Clattenburg backed to take charge at Chelsea as return passes without incident
00:09 GMT, 26 November 2012
Mark Clattenburg made his return to football on Sunday as the boss of his referees’ union said he hoped it would not be ‘too long’ before the 37-year-old took charge of a Chelsea game.
Clattenburg was the fourth official at White Hart Lane, the first time he had worked since being accused of making a racist remark to John Mikel Obi on October 28.
After being cleared by the FA, it was a straightforward way to get back into the action, with little to do other than hold up the board for substitutions.
Quiet chat: Mark Clattenburg with West Ham boss Sam Allardyce
He occasionally needed to remind the rival managers and coaching staff to desist from encroaching out of their technical areas but his only real intervention was when Jermain Defoe fouled James Tomkins midway through the second half.
Sam Allardyce wanted a booking for the Spurs striker which would have seen him sent off but he calmed down and put an arm around Clattenburg while making his point.
Afterwards, Allardyce said: ‘I just said that I’m glad to see him back and get on with your refereeing. I’m sure he’s itching and ready to be back in the middle.’
Welcome back: Clattenburg officiated for the first time since his race case
Meanwhile Alan Leighton, national secretary of Prospect, the referees’ union, believes Clattenburg is still able to officiate a match involving Chelsea despite the incident.
‘I think if there was too long a delay in refereeing Chelsea then the issue gets dragged out again,’ he said.
‘The key issue for Mark is getting back to refereeing and getting back to normal, and that means refereeing Chelsea as soon as he possibly can.’