Wenger hits out at Chelsea for Clattenburg allegations and asks… where's your proof
14:10 GMT, 1 November 2012
Arsene Wenger has criticised Chelsea for making a public complaint about referee Mark Clattenburg and said the allegations have ‘little proof’.
Chelsea have formally accused the official of racially abusing John Obi Mikel during Sunday’s 3-2 defeat by Manchester United, but the Arsenal boss said he would prefer to see such matters dealt with internally. Clattenburg is also facing a police investigation after a formal complaint was made by the Society of Black Lawyers.
Wenger said: ‘I believe one of the best things in sport is it’s a battle when it is on. You can sort out the problems you had, especially in England, internally. If it comes to making the lawyers rich I’m not a fan of it.
‘One of the great things in sports 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.’
‘I didn’t follow the whole (Chelsea) story completely (but) my opinion is just when I didn’t behave well I have an explanation with the referee at the end of the game or another day, rather than going public with little proof. I’m not in favour of making these things public.’
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In the spotlight: Chelsea have received widespread criticism for their treatment of Clattenburg
Wenger, whose Arsenal side face United at Old Trafford on Saturday, admitted he has behaved inappropriately during high-profile matches but insisted disagreements should be resolved immediately after the game or at least kept behind closed doors.
Asked whether he had encountered such incidents with referees, the Arsenal boss said: ‘Yes. I must say, honestly, my complete deep feeling in that is that I, myself, was not always completely behaving very well in this situation because it’s always very heated but I am a deep supporter of doing that internally.
Straight talking: Wenger did not hold back
‘I think, for example, the last two nights (in the Capital One Cup) were great adverts of football and that’s absolutely fantastic.
‘We saw some quality games during the two nights. Maybe because the two teams do not want to play extra time and they do not want to go to penalties. The games were very specific.’
Speaking out: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce
Meanwhile, Sam Allardyce has questioned the need for police to be involved in the Clattenburg case, claiming it is 'sad for football'.
The West Ham manager said he had never heard a referee abuse a player during his career and believes the alleged incident at Stamford Bridge is 'very strange'.
Allardyce said: 'It's very difficult for me to comment because you don't know the extent of what's supposed to have been said. That's critical for me.
'The situation is very difficult for everyone to sort out and when you get the police involved as well it really worries me about where we are going in the game.
'I think if every incident is going to be ending up in police hands it's going to be very sad for the game of football I general.
'Over the last however many years as a manager I've never heard one referee give a bad comment to a player. I find it a very strange thing that has been reported. Only the authorities can decide whether it has or hasn't happened.'
Allardyce conceded he traded strong words with referees when he was a player but added: 'That was never a problem in our day. There would always be industrial language between the pair of us. The whole game was different then.'
VIDEO: Wenger urges restraint over Chelsea referee comment