Tag Archives: accusation

Haroon Khan wins his debut fight

Younger Khan follows in Amir's footsteps by winning debut fight on points over Fidoe

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

21:10 GMT, 27 April 2013

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UPDATED:

08:49 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Haroon Khan's bid to follow in the footsteps of big brother Amir began seamlessly on Saturday night with a points victory over Brett Fidoe in Sheffield.

The 21-year-old made his professional debut just hours before his elder sibling's clash with Julio Diaz and never looked in serious trouble at the Motorpoint Arena.

Boxing at super flyweight, Khan was however too eager to impress at times – an accusation levelled at his brother throughout his career – but came through unscathed.

Beating: Haroon Khan, left, throws a left hook against Brett Fidoe

Beating: Haroon Khan, left, throws a left hook against Brett Fidoe

Representing Pakistan, Khan won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and is now working under Salford-based trainer Oliver Harrison who guided Amir to a 17-fight undefeated professional career before their sudden split in 2008.

Fidoe, meanwhile, began his career with successive defeats at the tail end of last year before halting the slide with his sole victory to date in February.

Such was the ease with which he was expected to be deposed, the 22-year-old already had his next assignment lined up – against an unbeaten prospect in Manchester in just 13 days time.

Eyeing him up: Although Fidoe boxed well in the last round, Khan was a runaway winner

Eyeing him up: Although Fidoe boxed well in the last round, Khan was a runaway winner

Making his debut six months after turning professional, Khan was afforded a warm welcome by the simmering crowd and he looked determined to give them something to cheer about from the first bell.

Abandoning his jab, he repeatedly attempted to land the overhand right, only for Fidoe to slip it with ease.

The few punches that did land came from Khan however and that pattern continued into the second session.

Intent: Khan throws a punch but Fidoe manages to duck in time

Intent: Khan throws a punch but Fidoe manages to duck in time

At the start of the third stanza, Khan threw an eye-catching three-punch combination and although the first two missed the target, the third, a left, landed flush.

He had further success when he switched downstairs to the body and had by this time built up a commanding lead.

To Fidoe's credit, he came out swinging for the final three minutes and deserved the consolation of winning the round only to be forced to share the spoils as the referee awarded Khan victory by 40 points to 37.

SIX NATIONS 2013: Andy Farrell – Jim Telfer "arrogant England" jibes are just a Scotsman trying to stir passion

Farrell: Telfer's 'arrogant England' jibes are just a Scotsman trying to stir up passion

By
Alex Lowe, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

16:15 GMT, 29 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 29 January 2013

JIM TELFER EXCLUSIVE

Lions legend: Jim Telfer was critical of England

England are too arrogant, pretentious and condescending to realise they're not as good as they think they are!

Click here to read the full explosive interview

Andy Farrell has insisted he does not recognise the accusation of 'arrogance' that has been levelled at the England squad by Lions legend Jim Telfer.

Responding to Sportsmail's exclusive interview with the former Scotland coach, Farrell revealed the players have laughed off the jibes, which he believes are designed to get the Scots fired up before their trip to Twickenham for Saturday’s Calcutta Cup showdown.

The England management under Stuart Lancaster have worked hard over the last 12 months to eradicate any sense of arrogance from the national team.

Big week ahead: The England squad in training at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot on Tuesday morning

Big week ahead: The England squad in training at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot on Tuesday morning

Farrell said: 'I definitely don’t recognise anything he has said.

'People say this every year about the English anyway. It has stuck now. That is why we take it tongue-in-cheek. We know exactly what we are about.

'A couple of the lads have seen it and they are all taking the mick out of each other. They think it’s quite funny about those who have been mentioned. There are a few jokes flying around the place.'

Telfer told Sportsmail that England, who beat New Zealand on the same weekend as Scotland lost to Tonga, are not as good as they think they are.

Impressionable England scrum-half Ben Youngs (above) and wing Chris Ashton (below)

Impressionable England scrum-half Ben Youngs (above) and wing Chris Ashton (below)

Impressionable England scrum-half Ben Youngs (above) and wing Chris Ashton (below)

He said: 'They are too arrogant, too pretentious and too condescending to realise they have a problem.'

Chris Ashton, Danny Care, Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi were named as 'very impressionable' players who let the All Blacks win go to their heads.

There was credit for England’s coaching team of Lancaster, Farrell and Graham Rowntree, who Telfer described as: 'All from the North and all down to earth.'

Lancaster’s first aim when he took interim charge of the England squad a year ago was to reconnect the national team to their roots.

On the ball: England backs coach Andy Farrell, and with captain Chris Robshaw (below) on Tuesday

On the ball: England backs coach Andy Farrell, and with captain Chris Robshaw (below) on Tuesday

Talking tactics: England backs coach Andy Farrell (right) with captain Chris Robshaw on Tuesday

Top post: England boss Stuart Lancaster

Top post: England boss Stuart Lancaster

In the wake of the 2011 World Cup disappointments, Lancaster wanted to restore a sense of pride in the jersey from within the squad and a sense of pride in the England team from the public.

England now prepare for the RBS 6 Nations in Leeds rather than in Portugal. They drew 6,000 to an open training session at Headingley and Lancaster last Friday held a seminar for 500 grass-roots coaches.

Telfer’s comments have certainly stoked the boiler ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations opener at Twickenham, where Scotland have not won in 30 years.

'He’s Scottish isn’t he, very passionate about his country and he wants to give his lads as much belief as he can,' Farrell said. 'He cares about his country.

'It is him trying to do the right thing by his own country, to try and motivate them.

'That is what he has always been about really – passion and stirring a few feathers up along the way. It is what you want, a bit of passion.'

FA"s 92-point action plan to rid football of racism with quotas for referees and coaches

SPORTSMAIL EXCLUSIVE: We'll kick out the bigots… FA's 92-point action plan to rid football of the scourge of racism
The Football Association will introduce ethnic quotas for referees and coaches early in the new year
The latest video technology, including spy cameras, will be used to catch racist fansTough crackdown on offending clubsMoves to increase the involvement of women, ethnic minorities and disabled people

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UPDATED:

23:42 GMT, 12 December 2012

English football will introduce quotas for referees and coaches as part of an unprecedented campaign to tackle racism.

The plan will be adopted early in the new year and include the demand that at least 10 per cent of entry level officials and coaches throughout the game are from ethnic minorities.

There will also be moves to increase the involvement of women, ethnic minorities and disabled people in all forms of football, while Asian role models will be sought to encourage Asian children to play the game.

Confidential hotlines will be set up for players to report any form of bullying and discrimination, and fans will be able to text, email or maybe even tweet their complaints about any form of racism.

Race disgrace: John Terry (covering mouth) was banned for abusing Anton Ferdinand

Race disgrace: John Terry (covering mouth) was banned for abusing Anton Ferdinand

In addition, the latest video and audio technology will be used to identify supporters guilty of racist gestures or chanting at matches.

The far-reaching plan comes after a period in which football has been scarred by the racist behaviour of John Terry and Luis Suarez, and by the false accusation of racial abuse levelled at referee Mark Clattenburg.

PFA back ban call

The Professional Footballers’ Association will support the FA proposal of a minimum five-game ban for racist abuse.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: ‘We want to illustrate the seriousness of our approach to this issue.’

The extent of the fight against racism can be revealed by Sportsmail, who have seen the FA’s 92-point Football Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan.

FA chairman David Bernstein has also given his personal guarantee in a letter to Culture Secretary Maria Miller, copied to Prime Minister David Cameron, that all the recommendations will be carried out once they have been rubber-stamped by football’s stakeholders.

The anti-racism education process being introduced will not just involve cultural lessons for overseas players and managers coming to England.

All sections of the game, including match stewards, will be given advice on how best to combat discrimination and the procedures to follow when it happens.

The FA will also establish an Inclusion Advisory Board to provide guidance on all equality matters and monitor the implementation of the plan.

Flashpoint: Luis Suarez (left) was in an ugly clash with Patrice Evra last season

Flashpoint: Luis Suarez (left) was in an ugly clash with Patrice Evra last season

The document has been distributed to all 92 League clubs, who will be expected to sign the charter for action against homophobia and transphobia launched by the Government last year.

Contracts with players and managers will have a mandatory reference to behaving in an inclusive and non-discriminatory manner.

A timetable has been set out as far ahead as the 2017-18 season as to when the 92 points will be implemented.

They start this month with the football organisations publicising the roles and responsibilities of each body — FA, Premier League, Football League, clubs, League Managers’ Associations, Professional Footballers’ Association and County FAs — in promoting inclusion and dealing with discrimination in football.

Also beginning immediately is the FA mandate that the proportion of ethnic minority coaches starting at the lowest level of qualification does not fall below 10 per cent.

And by season 2015-16: ‘The FA in conjunction with county FAs will ensure that 10 per cent of the referee workforce is from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, which is reflective of national demographics.’

Shirt shrift: Manchester City's Joleon Lescott refuses to wear a Kick It Out top

Shirt shrift: Manchester City's Joleon Lescott refuses to wear a Kick It Out top

The proposals are the FA’s response to
the Prime Minister calling for the game to take tougher action after an
anti-racism-in-football summit last February.

Bernstein is making the fight against racism his personal FA legacy before he stands down next May. In his letter to Miller he writes: ‘Let me give you my own personal reassurance that this is an issue at the very top of my agenda.

‘It is one that I know we are all determined to address both speedily and collaboratively subject to the approvals processes of our respective organisations.

‘There is no doubt that recent events have brought into sharp relief the impact that race and other forms of discrimination can still have on the game. Incidents involving high-profile players cast a shadow over the sport and can undermine much of the collective good work achieved.

‘Despite the substantial progress English football has made in this area over many years we fully recognise that the work to eliminate discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, colour and nationality is still not complete.’

Official inquiry: The FA want more non-white referees to follow Uriah Rennie

Official inquiry: The FA want more non-white referees to follow Uriah Rennie

Bernstein was referring to the Terry, Suarez and Clattenburg cases and the FA plan seeks to prevent any repetition.

The hotline strategy follows Jason Roberts’ complaints about some black players not trusting the authorities to fight racism.

To counter that lack of faith in the authorities, the planned support structure will ‘ensure those who wish to report incidents of discrimination or bullying within the game, whether trainees, players, coaches, managers, other employees or fans, can do so in confidence and receive the support they may require’.

Ironically Bernstein also puts on record his strong support for anti-racism group Kick It Out, whose chairman Lord Ouseley has threatened to quit the FA Council in protest at their ‘mealy- mouthed’ response to the Terry and Suarez issues.

The recommendations may be tweaked after feedback from stakeholders. But they are broadly expected to be introduced following club meetings next February. It is envisaged that the final version will be presented in a ‘more user friendly and punchy format’.

Crackdown: Chelsea banned this supporter for making a gesture at Manchester United's Danny Welbeck

Crackdown: Chelsea banned this supporter for making a gesture at Manchester United's Danny Welbeck

Other key proposals include:

The Football League introducing mandatory minimum standard club codes of conduct.Social media guidelines for players and club staff to follow throughout professional football.Crowd management measures to guide professional and semi- professional clubs.Mandatory lessons for all to educate and change attitudes and ensure they are informed of the procedures to follow when incidents occur.Closer working relationships with police over hate crime in football incidents.Football authorities to discipline clubs who repeatedly fail to sanction employers who breach code of conduct, or deal adequately with fans in relation to discriminatory language or behaviour.A review of the recruitment process for managers and coaches at the top level.New programmes to help black and Asian coaches gain qualifications to challenge for top professional roles.Talent programmes specifically for Asian men and boys and the promotion of Asian male and female role models.Improve the reporting and analysis of in-stadium offences.

The FA are not just attempting to eradicate racism in their grand plan.

The commitment is to ‘promote inclusion and eliminate discrimination whether by reason of race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status, religion or belief, ability or disability’.

Ugliness has tarnished football: month-by-month

Santi Cazorla dive: We should use technology, says Gordon Taylor

Time for technology, says Players' Union chief Taylor after Cazorla dive

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UPDATED:

15:06 GMT, 10 December 2012

Players' union boss Gordon Taylor has called for technology to be used in the fight against diving in the wake of the Santi Cazorla controversy.

Simulation has once again become a talking point after Arsenal playmaker Cazorla won a first-half penalty in Saturday's 2-0 victory over West Brom after going to ground following a challenge by Steven Reid.

Replays showed there had been no contact between the players and Baggies boss Steve Clarke condemned referee Mike Jones for missing what he viewed as a blatant dive.

Going down: Cazorla dived to gain Arsenal a penalty

Going down: Cazorla dived to gain Arsenal a penalty against West Brom

Gunners team-mate Mikel Arteta defended Cazorla, and while Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Taylor did not wish to comment on this specific case he believed the use of technology would help referees make the right calls.

'This has been a non-stop subject for a long time now – how we best deal with it given the pace of the game and the difficulties for referees and the assistant referees to judge,' Taylor told Sky Sports News.

'I think it's going to be inevitable that if technology comes in for goalline decisions and penalty decisions, then it will help in these situations.

Accusation: West Brom players make their feelings clear

Accusation: West Brom players make their feelings clear to ref Mike Jones

'Other sports move on and use technology and do all they can to be as successful as football, so we've got to keep at that cutting edge.

'I'm not saying change for change's sake but change if it makes the game better and there's more justice done.

'Also for a long time we've been talking about a panel of former players, referees, former managers, to look at such incidents with a view to recommending to the FA whether action should be taken if there is a player who blatantly looked to claim a free-kick or a penalty when there's no possibility of an offence being committed.'

In an interview given to the Daily Telegraph two months ago, Cazorla revealed that he views diving as 'not something that should be a big controversy'.

The Spaniard is set to be omitted from Arsenal's squad for Tuesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final at Bradford with manager Arsene Wenger expected to rely on his fringe players, but his actions have highlighted a problem that Taylor agrees must be addressed.

'I don't want to personalise it because he wouldn't be the first player accused of diving and he won't be the last, but it's an issue that we all need to address,' Taylor said.

'Management, coaching staff, players and supporters have all got to buy into this and condemn it.

'We must make sure the game is played according to the spirit of the game and the letter of the law.

'We've got to give the referee and his assistants every possible opportunity to get their decisions right because virtually every Sunday and Monday morning now we have decisions complained about.

'We must also look at matches reflectively and take later action, rather than just say “leave it how it was from the referee and we all move on”.'

Meanwhile, Baggies boss Clarke is taking steps to prevent his players demonstrating the same unsportsmanlike conduct as Cazorla.

Albion defender Liam Ridgewell was accusing of going to ground easily to earn a penalty in the 4-2 win against Sunderland a few weeks ago, as he fell down under minimal contact from Adam Johnson.

And The Baggies boss revealed that he has spoken to Ridgewell about the incident, saying: 'I’ve spoken to Liam on a number of occasions this season, yes.

'We spoke about a number of different incidents. He (Cazorla) is not one of my players and I don’t speak about players from other clubs.

'But if one of my players goes down with something similar to that, then we’ll talk about it.'

Chelsea won"t issue Mark Clattenburg an apology after racism row

Chelsea won't issue apology to ref Clattenburg after race claim

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UPDATED:

11:34 GMT, 28 November 2012

Chelsea continue to maintain they will not issue an apology to referee Mark Clattenburg despite admitting to their 'regret' over the handling of the affair.

The lack of apology is based on Chelsea's opinion that in doing so they would undermine Ramires when it is widely accepted that the midfielder was sincere in his belief that Clattenburg had called John Obi Mikel a monkey during the explosive encounter at with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Dragged through the mud: Chelsea say they regret the way they acted over the Mark Clattenburg debacle

Dragged through the mud: Chelsea say they regret the way they acted over the Mark Clattenburg debacle

Dragged through the mud: Chelsea say they regret the way they acted over the Mark Clattenburg debacle

In a joint statement from Chelsea, the Premier League and the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the European champions conceded that their actions caused Clattenburg and his family huge distress.

They also admitted it had been a mistake to rush out a press release on the night of their defeat by Manchester United when the accusation that Clattenburg had called John Mikel Obi a 'monkey' was so serious.

But Chelsea consider the joint statement, drafted after the personal intervention of their chairman Bruce Buck, to be full and final and do not intend to issue any further comment.

Referees' union Prospect have dropped their demand for Chelsea to pay compensation to Clattenburg after reaching agreement over the statement but still feel an apology should still be forthcoming.

On the way back: Terry is poised for a first-team return after injury

On the way back: Terry is poised for a first-team return after injury

Clattenburg has not refereed a game since the furore exploded last month but is due to return to action tonight when Southampton entertain Norwich in the Barclays Premier League.

Meanwhile, Chelsea, who take on Fulham at Stamford Bridge, do not expect to have skipper John Terry back in time for Saturday's lunchtime kick-off away to West Ham.

Terry is back in training after making remarkable progress from the knee injury sustained in the draw with Liverpool two weeks ago.

Fears he could be out for the season have proved to be unfounded but Terry is rated as highly doubtful for this weekend's trip to Upton Park and is also unlikely to play in Chelsea's must-win Champions League Group E clash at home to Nordsjaelland next Wednesday.

Chelsea admit regrets over Mark Clattenburg race row

We got it wrong over Clattenburg, admit Chelsea… but still no apology for starting ref race storm

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UPDATED:

19:22 GMT, 27 November 2012

Chelsea have at last admitted they ‘regret’ being so quick to accuse Mark Clattenburg of racially abusing two of their players — but they have STILL not apologised for making the accusation public.

The club held secret peace talks with Clattenburg and his 15 elite referee colleagues on Monday.

Bruce Buck, the Stamford Bridge chairman, travelled to the National Football Centre at St George’s Park on the request of all Premier League match officials.

Dragged through the mud: Chelsea say they regret the way they acted over the Mark Clattenburg debacle

Dragged through the mud: Chelsea say they regret the way they acted over the Mark Clattenburg debacle

Allegations: Chelsea claimed Clattenburg had referred to John Obi Mikel as a 'monkey'

Allegations: Chelsea claimed Clattenburg had referred to John Obi Mikel as a 'monkey'

They met in a bid to repair the damage
caused by the false accusations of racism that were levelled against
Clattenburg. At some point during the meeting Buck shook hands with the referee.

Part of the discussion even focused on the possibility of Clattenburg taking charge of a Chelsea game in the future.

Referee's union Prospect welcomed the joint statement by PGMOL, the Premier League, and Chelsea.

National secretary Alan Leighton said the use of the word 'regrets' in the joint statement were tantamount to and accepted by Clattenburg and the Select Group as an apology.

'This was an important move forward in confirming Chelsea's recognition of Mark's integrity and impartiality,' he said in a statement.

Leighton said the referees 'welcomed the opportunity to express their concerns about the way that Mark had been treated'.

He added: 'In a thoroughly professional manner, they explained what the impact had been in real terms and that there could be no repetition of the events.'

The joint statement read: ‘A meeting took place on Monday afternoon at St George’s Park between Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the Premier League and Chelsea Football Club.

‘PGMOL were represented by General Manager Mike Riley and all 16 Select Group referees, the Premier League by Chief Executive Richard Scudamore and Chelsea FC by Chairman Bruce Buck.

Trip: Bruce Buck (left) went to St Georges to speak to Clattenburg and the other referees, as well as Mike Riley and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore

Trip: Bruce Buck (left) went to St Georges to speak to Clattenburg and the other referees, as well as Mike Riley and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore

This is a joint statement from all parties.

‘Following the completion of the
investigation by The FA into the case involving Chelsea FC and Mark
Clattenburg, the Premier League and Chelsea FC requested, and PGMOL
agreed, to meet in order to discuss the issues surrounding the reporting
of the allegation.

‘There
was a constructive and open discussion. The club regrets not having
given more consideration before issuing a statement on the evening of
Sunday 28th October.

The club also regrets the subsequent impact the intense media scrutiny had on Mark Clattenburg and his family.

‘The referees accept that, given Chelsea
FC had received a good faith claim from one of their employees, the club
had an obligation under FA rules to report the allegation.

‘There was recognition by all parties that the impartiality and integrity of refereeing in this country remains paramount.

Chelsea FC made it clear they would welcome Mark Clattenburg back to Stamford Bridge in the future and PGMOL would have no issue in appointing him to a Chelsea FC match going forward.

‘It was a thoroughly professional meeting. All parties now believe it is time to draw a line under this incident, learn from it and move on for the good of all Premier League clubs, players and match officials.’

The Football Association last week decided to take no disciplinary action against Clattenburg following an investigation into Chelsea's allegation he used 'inappropriate language' against midfielder John Obi Mikel, while the police also shelved a probe into the matter.

Chelsea are an utter disgrace after Mark Clattenburg non apology – Des Kelly

I'm sorry, but Chelsea are an utter disgrace

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UPDATED:

00:30 GMT, 24 November 2012

Chelsea claimed it had all been done in 'good faith'. Amazingly, the Football Association nodded in agreement. Rarely has the English language been mangled quite so abhorrently.

For a start, there was not a word of apology from the club. Not a single, solitary one. As expected, the FA threw out the spurious and damaging accusation of racism that Chelsea levelled against referee Mark Clattenburg.

But even then Chelsea could not summon up the decency or class to utter ‘sorry’ to the man. Good faith obviously has a different meaning in the corridors of Stamford Bridge.

Disgrace: Chelsea have refused to apologise after accusing Mark Clattenburg of racially abusing John Obi Mikel

Disgrace: Chelsea have refused to apologise after accusing Mark Clattenburg of racially abusing John Obi Mikel

More from Des Kelly…

Des Kelly: Ibrahimovic's goal was NOT the greatest ever scored
16/11/12

Des Kelly: Just man up like Rod and let your teardrops explode
09/11/12

Des Kelly: No Chelsea player heard Terry abuse Ferdinand… now they're blessed with the hearing of a piano tuner
02/11/12

Des Kelly: The finger of blame will only point at you, Roberto
26/10/12

Des Kelly: Now it is time for football's three monkeys to wise up
19/10/12

Des Kelly: Really, what are these people who support Armstrong on
12/10/12

Des Kelly: Terry affair must not derail battle to defeat racism… so let's stop the schism
28/09/12

Des Kelly: Forget the badge… it might have been you on that tragic day at Hillsborough
14/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

What a ghastly week this has been for them. What a horrible stain they have left on the season. Putrid doesn’t quite cover their behaviour. Throw in despicable and it might.

Chelsea have displayed such an arrogant, pig-headed disregard for decency with their allegations against Clattenburg that someone in a position of authority deserves to lose their job.

This is a club that sacks managers and coaches on a whim, even if they collect the European Cup. As far as they are concerned, experienced football men are simply dispensable.

But the relatively anonymous boardroom suits that served up this unpleasant smear to the public are now supposed to be allowed to just walk away from this mess without accepting responsibility I think not.

To implicate a referee in a racism row based on evidence so flimsy it turned out to be non-existent was a truly shocking misjudgment by the decision-makers at the club.

Clattenburg has been hounded for weeks because of their actions. He has been accused, investigated and quizzed. He had his character impugned, he was forced to forgo his job while the storm raged, ordered to bite his lip and hide away from the world as he saw his name repeatedly linked with the horrible slur of being a ‘racist’.

So it must be sickening for Clattenburg to see the FA sugar-coat their dismissal of Chelsea’s laughable case.

‘Good faith’ Not for Clattenburg it wasn’t. Not for referees, who will now tape every conversation they have with players on the pitch, such is their level of distrust.

Bad times: Clattenburg's name was dragged through the mud

Bad times: Clattenburg's name was dragged through the mud

Having done absolutely nothing wrong, having been exonerated, he is also effectively prevented from taking charge of any match at Stamford Bridge for the foreseeable future. More ‘good faith’, I assume.

Ignore the public-relations froth in the prepared statements. Ignore the legalese. Ignore, too, Chelsea’s post-rationalisation of events and the risible claim they had to go public on the night, long before all the information had been properly gathered and assessed.

Here are the facts…

Chelsea accused Clattenburg of being a racist.They were horribly wrong.No credible evidence was produced.The club have refused to apologise.

Why hasn’t someone at Chelsea resigned this morning At the BBC, bosses were clearing their desks when one politician was falsely accused of a repugnant crime.

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Over at ITV, a presenter was
grovelling and his bosses paying out damages after he waved about a list
of alleged criminals he had lifted from the internet.

Or
is it OK to say a professional match official is a racist — and then
shrug and say ‘Oops’ when the charge is exposed as complete trash No
doubt a lawyer suggested Chelsea should avoid any apology for fear it
might ‘compromise their legal position’. I wonder if it was the same
lawyer who suggested they might have a case in the first place

Amazing, too, that the judgment broke as new manager Rafa Benitez was being wheeled in for his inaugural press conference. A good day to try to bury bad news, perhaps I wouldn’t put it past this lot.

Chelsea are a club run by an easily bored oligarch with no regard for careers or reputations. I often look at Roman Abramovich’s vacant, thousand-yard stare and wonder what he is thinking. Or even, if.

The chances that he might publicly account for his actions at the club are as remote as his home in Siberia.

But it makes my stomach turn to now read someone at Stamford Bridge claim they had a ‘duty of care’ to Ramires, as if that makes it all ok.

They also had a duty of care to the game, to the reputation of our officials, to the ‘Respect’ tags they dare to wear on their kits. They also had a duty of care to the man they accused of being a racist without any plausible proof.

Overheard: Ramires thought he heard a racial slur

Overheard: Ramires thought he heard a racial slur

This isn’t being wise after the event. This isn’t slating Chelsea for the sake of it, although heaven knows they make it easy. The FA verdict was a foregone conclusion even after the most cursory inspection of the so-called ‘evidence’ — and I have said as much on these pages before.

Chelsea could have looked into the complaint and followed it through without rushing into public with their nasty smear. And considering the astonishing lack of ‘evidence’, it is also a mystery why the FA moved to deliver their verdict as slowly as insurance loss adjusters.

That ‘good faith’ remark smacks of days of draft statements knocking back and forth between expensive lawyers. It reeks of a ‘we-won’t-say-this-if-you-don’t-say-that’ trade-off. The referee was put through the mangle on the word of one player — Ramires, a Portuguese-speaking Brazilian who struggles to communicate in English.

A gaggle of players were closer to the supposed incident and heard nothing, including Ashley Cole and John Mikel Obi.

There was no audio or video evidence, nor confirmation from officials on the touchline. But Chelsea pressed on, having been backed into a corner by their own eagerness to point an accusing finger.

Centre of the storm: Mikel was proven NOT to have been called a monkey

Centre of the storm: Mikel was proven NOT to have been called a monkey

Did you note that Ramires took 15 days to pinpoint the moment he believed he had heard a ‘racist’ remark Until then, he had been unable to remember when this extraordinary insult was actually uttered. Does that sound like a credible witness to you No, nor me. Nor the Metropolitan Police. Nor the FA, for that matter.

Chelsea went to make a point of saying they ‘provided 11 witness statements’. How comprehensive of them.

Unfortunately, that appears to have boiled down to 10 people saying ‘Nope — I didn’t hear any such thing’ and one bloke from Brazil saying he definitely might have heard the word ‘monkey’.

The improbable idiocy of it all didn’t stop someone associated with Chelsea briefing the media within two hours of the final whistle with claims the referee may have made racist remarks. It was running on Sky Sports by 8pm. The club knew what the consequences would be.

So it was galling to read this in Chelsea’s statement: ‘All those directly involved have been subjected to scrutiny over the last weeks. Chelsea FC now hopes that all concerned can continue to carry out their duties without prejudice.’

Back to duty: Clattenburg says he hopes no ref has to go through this in the future

Back to duty: Clattenburg says he hopes no ref has to go through this in the future

Oh, you do, do you Only one man has been accused of ‘prejudice’. Only one man has really been under scrutiny. Only one man has been fighting for his job. But now the tables are turned, just look at Chelsea trying to wriggle away from the mess they created.

There is the one comment amid all of this that truly matters. It is from Clattenburg himself, who is thankfully returning to duty.

‘There are processes that should be adhered to in order that any investigation can be carried out in a manner that is fair,’ 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.’

Damn right. I would add my own hope that Clattenburg and the referees’ union succeed in their bid to take Chelsea to the cleaners in court.

Even if they can’t bring themselves to say it, I hope Chelsea are made to feel sorry.

Rafa's luck is pants

Chelsea's future former manager, Rafa Benitez, wears lucky underpants.

Whenever the Spanish boss requires the intervention of fate, he pulls on a red pair of budgie-smugglers adorned with a picture of a Tasmanian devil.

It paid off when he led Valencia to the Spanish title and the UEFA Cup. He wore them for every European game in his first year at Liverpool, too, and picked up the 2005 Champions League trophy.

Lucky pants: Rafael Benitez will neet more than underwear to get the best out of Fernando Torres

Lucky pants: Rafael Benitez will neet more than underwear to get the best out of Fernando Torres

But Benitez might need more than lucky pants at Chelsea after being handed the interim job on one promise; the belief that he can sort out Fernando Torres.

The 50million striker is not the man Benitez remembers at Anfield. He has lost the explosive pace that was his greatest weapon.

Maybe Benitez can restore some of the old magic. But the overriding suspicion is Torres is beyond saving at the very highest level. I’d never dare suggest he might even be a bit pants these days — because he’s not that lucky.

Tony looks a Twit

Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes should sack himself. From Twitter.

The knee-jerk social media forum has been nothing but a curse for Fernandes. His wish to communicate with fans is admirable, but he has to be smart enough to know when to leave the iPhone alone, rather than make himself a hostage to fortune.

On Friday, QPR dispensed with Mark Hughes just seven days after Fernandes declared: ‘It won’t be happening — for the millionth time, ha ha.’

Axed: Mark Hughes was sacked despite Tony Fernandes claiming he wouldn't be

Axed: Mark Hughes was sacked despite Tony Fernandes claiming he wouldn't be

We laughed, too. Not with Fernandes, but at his naivety. Now it looks as if Fernandes was forced to wield the axe only after a rift with other key directors. His Twitter feed definitely supports that view.

On October 27, he insisted: ‘We have one of the best managers in the Premier League. We’re in this for the long term.’

I suppose that three-and-a-half weeks is regarded as ‘long term’ in football these days.

Chelsea Mark Clattenburg fiasco: Ron Gourlay should resign – Jonathan McEvoy

The enemies of football are now pariahs of the Premier League… Gourlay should pay with his job for this

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UPDATED:

23:45 GMT, 22 November 2012

For a cabal that has found it easy to spread so much insinuation and so many insults about so many innocent parties, Chelsea cannot bring themselves to utter the one appropriate word.

Sorry was not to be heard in the wind howling down Fulham Road last night. It was as predictable an omission as it was sad.

The FA had found the club’s accusation that referee Mark Clattenburg called John Mikel Obi a ‘monkey’ did not stand up to scrutiny. All logic and instinct had told us that the minute the claim was made on October 28 following Chelsea’s acrimonious defeat by Manchester United.

No evidence: Chelsea's claims about Mark Clattenburg have proved to be unfounded - but they won't say sorry

No evidence: Chelsea's claims about Mark Clattenburg have proved to be unfounded – but they won't say sorry

Sky TV had failed with all 20 of their cameras to pick up the racial slur. The other officials cleared Clattenburg of wrongdoing. Chelsea had a record of intimidation and arrogance.

What is more, Clattenburg speaks with a Geordie accent. Anyone who has spent time in a Newcastle pub will tell you how those tones can be faintly indecipherable to English ears let alone to a Brazilian, namely Ramires, who thought he heard the insult despite the backdrop of a noisy stadium. Ramires’ recollections were translated for the rest of the team by David Luiz, another Brazilian. Mikel, the supposed victim who has good English, did not hear the word monkey spoken.

Despite all this — and after the shameful saga of John Terry, Chelsea’s totem, calling Anton Ferdinand a black **** — the club were going public within hours about Clattenburg’s supposed crime. They also claimed Juan Mata was called a ‘Spanish t***’, an accusation later withdrawn.

Nasty episode: The John Terry race row with Anton Ferdinand brought shame onto the club

Nasty episode: The John Terry race row with Anton Ferdinand brought shame onto the club

Why did they not keep quiet while they considered if a complaint was worthwhile That is a question for Ron Gourlay, the chief executive. A second question for him is: will you resign after this fiasco
Harsh Hardly. This is a club drunk on its own oxygen and wealth.

Take Rafa Benitez’s unveiling as the ninth manager of Roman Abramovich’s nine-year reign. He is the latest pawn in a billionaire’s game where normal employment rights — like reward for success — do not count because he can afford to override them.

No wonder the men on the pitch and in the boardroom adopt such high-handedness when the boss sets such a rebarbative example.

The litany of modern Chelsea’s bullying of referees is without parallel in British football.

Remember him Referee Anders Frisk (second left) was forced into retirement by death threats

Remember him Referee Anders Frisk (second left) was forced into retirement by death threats

The crime sheet goes back as far as February 2005, when the then manager Jose Mourinho accused Anders Frisk of collusion with Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard during Chelsea’s defeat at the Nou Camp that saw Didier Drogba sent off. Chelsea were charged with inappropriate conduct and Mourinho was banned from the touchline. Frisk retired after receiving death threats.

Mourinho was cast as an ‘enemy of football’ by UEFA referees’ committee chairman Volker Roth.
Since then the wrath has been incited not just on the continent but also closer to home. Chelsea have gone from the enemies of European football to the pariahs of the Premier League.

In November 2006, Graham Poll sent off Terry as Chelsea lost to Tottenham for the first time in 16 years. Terry accused the referee of changing his explanation over why he had shown the red card.
The delightful Ashley Cole chimed in, saying Poll had warned Chelsea players he wanted to ‘teach us a lesson’. A fortnight later, Chelsea withdrew the accusation and Terry was fined 10,000.

Who could forget this Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

Who could forget this Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

Who could forget this Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

Fast forward to May 2009, when Norwegian Tom Henning Ovrebo turned down four Chelsea penalty appeals. Admittedly, it was a shocking refereeing performance but not as wayward as the reaction of Drogba and Jose Bosingwa, who both turned on Ovrebo at the final whistle. Drogba screamed ‘It’s a f***ing disgrace’ into a television camera. Ovrebo was still being subjected to vile emails from Chelsea fans as late as this spring.

Last October after that infamous game against QPR, Chelsea were fined 20,000 for failing to control their players. Drogba and Bosingwa were dismissed in the first half. Manager Andre Villas-Boas called it a ‘very poor display’ — by the referee, that is, not his players.

The unfortunate referee then was Chris Foy. /11/22/article-2237127-0608100D0000044D-767_634x456.jpg” width=”634″ height=”456″ alt=”Sound familiar Chelsea retracted claims about comments by Graham Poll back in 2006″ class=”blkBorder” />

Sound familiar Chelsea retracted claims about comments by Graham Poll back in 2006

So back to Chelsea’s weasel words in response to the FA findings. They said: ‘Chelsea FC has a duty of care, as do all employers, to act responsibly when such allegations are reported by employees.’

It smacked of the usual one-eyed, self-serving nonsense that fails to acknowledge a wider obligation to football itself or the lightly trampled reputation of a blameless referee.

We are Chelsea. We snarl and we smear. Who says we should say sorry

Arsene Wenger chants: Idiots should be banned

Clubs must ban these idiots responsible for Wenger chants

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UPDATED:

22:44 GMT, 4 November 2012

Vile chants: Wenger was on the receiving end

Vile chants: Wenger was on the receiving end

We’ve seen a lot of progress dealing with racism in this country but the vile obscenities Arsene Wenger has had to put up with are unacceptable.

Wenger is one of the nicest men on the planet and the accusation that he is a paedophile is, of course, absurd. It’s an embarrassment.

Like most players and managers who are abused, Wenger ignores it and remains professional but it is not easy. I know from being the subject of chants that inside your blood is boiling, you are seething, but you have to get on with it. I used it as motivation to make sure the opposition didn’t score against me, but what can Wenger do

He’s standing on the touchline with no-one to turn to. It has an impact on your family too. They have to sit through it while people are giggling. It is demeaning. There are lots of good people out there but there are idiots too. That kind of abuse makes you question your belief in the human race.

Mr Nice Guy: Wenger is one of the most respected men in football

Mr Nice Guy: Wenger is one of the most respected men in football

What can be done It’s difficult as Sir Alex Ferguson has been commendable in writing to Manchester United fans in the past but it doesn’t seem to have had the desired effect. Most United fans – and those at West Ham a month ago – must have felt embarrassed listening to those around them.

It is time to ban offenders. Clubs should encourage people to hit back in a calm way by taking seat numbers and contacting the club. The FA should look at ways to combat the problem – even if it means banning fans en masse.

Mark Clattenburg uncomfortable with Chelsea players" visit

Race-row ref Clattenburg was 'uncomfortable' over Chelsea's visit to officials' room

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UPDATED:

23:53 GMT, 3 November 2012

Referee Mark Clattenburg’s report on last Sunday’s clashes at Stamford Bridge — when he was accused of racially abusing Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel by calling him ‘monkey’ — will centre on the visit Chelsea employees and players made to the officials’ room after the match.

And sources claim that the ‘extraordinary incident’ report will suggest Clattenburg was uncomfortable with what happened during that visit.

Contrary to some reports, Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay is understood to have played no part in confronting Clattenburg after the 3-2 defeat by Manchester United. One well-placed source claims that Gourlay actually ushered Chelsea personnel away from the officials’ room.

Claim: Mark Clattenburg allegedly racially abused Jon Obi Mikel (centre)

Claim: Mark Clattenburg allegedly racially abused Jon Obi Mikel (centre)

Clattenburg is the subject of ongoing
investigations by the Football Association and police into the racial
abuse accusation, which the 37-year-old has privately denied. He faces
the possibility of an FA charge, criminal action and the end of his
refereeing career.

But the possibility also remains that one or more
Chelsea employee could face FA action for their part in confronting the
referee. It is understood that statements from assistant referees Simon Long and Michael McDonough and fourth official Mike Jones will support Clattenburg’s assertion that he made no racially abusive remarks.

All three were able to hear and speak to Clattenburg throughout the game using an earpiece system which provides digital quality sound that cuts out background noise.

Flashpoint: Clattenburg sent off Fernando Torres

Flashpoint: Clattenburg sent off Fernando Torres

Chelsea have not disputed the fact that Mikel heard the claim he had been abused by Clattenburg only after the match when he was told by non-English-speaking team-mate Ramires.

His version of the exchange was translated from his native Portuguese by his Brazilian team-mate David Luiz. United’s players have been asked by the club whether they heard any abusive comments by Clattenburg during the match and none reported anything untoward.

United are particularly sensitive to the issue of racism after Patrice Evra’s experience in the Luis Suarez case and the John Terry affair involving Rio Ferdinand’s brother Anton.

Evidence is still being gathered in the latest case, but it is expected that the FA will have a clear picture of what happened within days and may be in a position to announce whether any individuals will face disciplinary charges by the end of the week.

No decision has been made over when Clattenburg can return to work. The final say rests with the match officials’ controlling body — the PGMOL.

Chelsea are also under investigation because of the behaviour of their fans at last weekend’s match. Further action against the club could result from their failure to keep sections of the crowd under control after coins, lighters and a seat were thrown onto the pitch during the game.

The club have been further embarrassed by photographs of Chelsea fan Gavin Kirkham apparently making monkey gestures towards United striker Danny Welbeck in the return Capital One Cup game last Wednesday.

Unacceptable: Gavin Kirkham appears to make a 'monkey' gesture

Unacceptable: Gavin Kirkham appears to make a 'monkey' gesture

Clattenburg has received staunch support from United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

On Friday the United boss said he did not believe Clattenburg had made a racist remark. In his programme notes on Saturday, he added: ‘I felt every sympathy for Mark Clattenburg last Sunday. He was pilloried and didn’t deserve it. The officials made two mistakes — one that went against us and one that did us a huge favour — and I don’t hold either error against them.

‘I would have thought Chelsea would have been grateful to the referee rather than going on to give him a hard time.’