Chelsea and FA accused of 'cover up' after police drop Clattenburg race probe
07:43 GMT, 14 November 2012
Chelsea and the Football Association
have been accused of a 'cover-up' for not making a complaint to police about alleged comments by
referee Mark Clattenburg.
The Metropolitan Police revealed on Tuesday they have shelved their investigation into claims that Clattenburg used 'inappropriate
language' towards two Chelsea players.
Flashpoint: John Obi Mikel (right) and Ramires made allegations about referee Mark Clattenburg (centre)
The complaint was made to the police by the Society of Black Lawyers.
'It sounds remarkably like a football cover-up,' the society's chairman Peter Herbert told BBC Radio 5 live.
'It sounds remarkably like the football industry wanted to have this issue swept under the carpet.'
Chelsea made a formal complaint against Clattenburg on October 29 following their 3-2 home defeat by Manchester United. A day later the FA opened an investigation into the allegation, part of which was that Clattenburg used racial language.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police began its own probe based on a written complaint by Herbert.
In the spotlight: Clattenburg, pictured leaving his home near Newcastle, has not taken charge of a match since the incident
It is understood Chelsea did not give evidence to the police because
they felt the FA was the appropriate body to deal with the matter.
On Tuesday, the police investigation was discontinued because 'no
victims have come forward' and 'without a victim and/or any evidence
that any offence has been committed, the matter cannot currently be
The FA confirmed its investigation would proceed, but Herbert is furious
that neither the governing body nor Chelsea have taken the matter to
'We strongly suspect that the FA and/or Chelsea have failed to provide
this information to the Metropolitan Police in order for them to conduct
a proper investigation,' he said.
'The information we had is that there are “no victims”. Well, if there
are no victims, what on earth has been referred to the FA in the first
Dispute: Mikel complains to Clattenburg as his side slumped to defeat against Manchester United
Marching orders: Clattenburg showed two red cards to Chelsea players in the match, which included a highly controversial decision to show Fernando Torres a second yellow card for diving
Marching orders: Branislav Ivanovic was sent off (above) as Clattenburg struggled to the control the game
'What on earth are the FA and Chelsea playing then Are they having some
cosy exchange of statements between themselves and not giving it to the
'We're going to ask the borough commander for an explanation. Was there
any co-operation Was any evidence given If none was given by the FA or
Chelsea we want to raise that issue with the Minister of Sport.'
Herbert is particularly critical of the FA's decision not to involve the police once Chelsea made their complaint.
'If the Metropolitan Police are not provided with statements what are they supposed to do' he added.
'If a football club has registered a complaint with the FA, we would
expect the FA to refer this matter to the Metropolitan Police.
'The FA does not have the tools to investigate race-hate crime. We think
that until the FA gets its house in order complaints like this should
be investigated by the police.
'It really does beggar belief that the primary football authorities in
the country do not understand the seriousness of hate crime.'
Clattenburg timeline: How football has reacted to the claims of racist abuse
Oct 28: Mark Clattenburg sends off Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres, the latter for a disputed dive, as Chelsea go down 3-2 against Manchester United.
Chelsea later confirm they had lodged a formal complaint with the Premier League match delegate regarding 'inappropriate language' made by Clattenburg to two of their players. The complaint is understood to relate to alleged racial comments in incidents involving John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata.
Oct 29: Clattenburg is offered the full support of Prospect, the referees' union.
The Football Association starts an investigation relating to Chelsea's allegations. PFA chief Gordon
Taylor urges the FA to deal with the matter quickly.
The Professional Game Match Officials confirms Clattenburg will not be involved in the next round of matches, stating 'the focus should not be on the officials but on the players and the game itself'.
The Society of Black Lawyers sends a letter to the Metropolitan Police calling for a legal investigation. The Met confirm they have received a complaint and will 'consider any allegation that is made'.
Oct 30: The Metropolitan Police launch an investigation into the incidents at Stamford Bridge.
Oct 31: Chelsea lodge a formal complaint with the Football Association regarding 'inappropriate language' directed at Mikel by Clattenburg during Sunday's match.
Nov 2: Sir Alex Ferguson enters the debate, saying: 'I refuse to believe' Clattenburg would make racially abusive comments.
Nov 5: The referees group PGMOL says Clattenburg will not referee at the weekend, but that they had been willing to appoint him to a match if he had wanted.
Nov 8: The Football Association carried out a series of interviews with match officials as they continued their investigations.
Nov 12: Clattenburg was absent from the PGMOL list for a third successive week, although he did return to training.
Nov 13: The police investigation into alleged comments made by Clattenburg was dropped due to a lack of evidence, Scotland Yard said.