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Race row ref Mark Clattenburg misses fourth straight week

Clattenburg misses fourth week in a row as ref waits for verdict from FA over Mikel racist abuse allegations

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UPDATED:

17:08 GMT, 19 November 2012

Referee Mark Clattenburg has been left off the Premier League list for the fourth week in a row.

Clattenburg has not taken charge of a match since Chelsea accused him of racially abusing midfielder John Obi Mikel during Manchester United's 3-2 win at Stamford Bridge last month.

Row: Mark Clattenburg was accused of racially abusing John Obi Mikel (centre)

Row: Mark Clattenburg was accused of racially abusing John Obi Mikel (centre)

The official is set to discover the outcome of the FA investigation into the allegations after the governing body interviewed several Chelsea players including Mikel, plus Clattenburg, the two assistant referees Michael McDonough and Simon Long and fourth official Michael Jones.

Clattenburg strenuously denies the allegations and Sportsmail understands the FA are unlikely to charge the Durham official.

An independent QC is studying all the evidence in close detail before recommending a decision. A police investigation into the incident was dropped.

Chelsea alleged that Clattenburg called Mikel a 'monkey' although the player did not hear any slur himself. He was told later by team-mate Ramires.

Ref justice: Clattenburg is set to discover the outcome of the FA investigation

Ref justice: Clattenburg is set to discover the outcome of the FA investigation

If the FA decide that Clattenburg has no case to answer it will be another blow to Chelsea's reputation.

Captain John Terry was banned and fined after being found guilty by the FA of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match last season.

And just days after the Clattenburg row, a fan was pictured aiming a monkey chant at Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck.

Gavin Kirkham is on bail and has been banned from Stamford Bridge while the police investigate.

Mark Clattenburg race row decision delayed until next week

FA push back decision on Clattenburg race row until next week

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UPDATED:

13:57 GMT, 16 November 2012

Referee Mark Clattenburg will not discover the outcome of the Football Association's investigation into a complaint by Chelsea against the match official until next week.

The timing of the decision means that Clattenburg could now miss a fourth weekend of matches even if the FA announces that no action will be taken.

The Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) announces the list of referees for the following weekend's matches on Monday and previously Clattenburg has opted out of officiating while the case is still going on.

Delay: Mark Clattenburg faces an anxious wait over the weekend after the FA put back announcing their verdict on the race claims against him

Delay: Mark Clattenburg faces an anxious wait over the weekend after the FA put back announcing their verdict on the race claims against him

Chelsea have alleged that Clattenburg used inappropriate language, understood to have been interpreted as racist, towards their midfielder John Obi Mikel during the London club's 3-2 defeat by Manchester United on October 28.

The FA has interviewed several Chelsea players including Mikel, plus Clattenburg, the two assistant referees Michael McDonough and Simon Long and fourth official Michael Jones. Clattenburg strenuously denies the allegations.

An independent QC is studying all the evidence in close detail before recommending a decision.

The sensitivities of the case, heightened by the fact it comes so soon after Chelsea skipper John Terry's four-match ban for racist abuse, means that the FA is being ultra-cautious to ensure that it has left no stone unturned in its investigation.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck gave a long interview this week defending their actions – something that caused disquiet at the PGMO referees organisation, who believed the club should not have gone public over the issue before the FA had reached its conclusions.

Clattenburg himself has been shocked after finding himself and his family targeted by paparazzi, even after the police announced on Tuesday that they were not pursuing a complaint against him lodged by the Society of Black Lawyers.

Mark Clattenburg back in training but race-row referee left off Premier League list again for a third week

Clattenburg back in training with elite officials but race-row ref left off Premier League list again for a third week

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UPDATED:

17:29 GMT, 12 November 2012

Referee Mark Clattenburg returned to training with the top-flight Select Group of referees today but has once again been left off this weekend's Barclays Premier League fixture list.

The Durham official, who has not taken charge of a match since Chelsea accused him of directing racist language towards John Mikel Obi at Stamford Bridge on October 28, had not trained while the investigations have been taking place but he did so today at the FA's St George's Park HQ.

Controversy: Mark Clattenburg has not refereed since Chelsea v Man United

Controversy: Mark Clattenburg has not refereed since Chelsea v Man United

Clattenburg and referees chief Mike
Riley have decided jointly that he should not be in charge of matches
while the case has been ongoing.

Chelsea last week submitted a
dossier of evidence to the FA, including signed witness statements from
players, alleging Clattenburg used a term understood to have been
interpreted as racist during the 3-2 defeat by Manchester United.

Clattenburg denies the accusation.

Clattenburg is understood to have been among those interviewed by the Football Association on Thursday as part of continuing investigations into Chelsea's claim.

The governing body are now assessing those allegations and are believed to have spoken to Clattenburg, assistant referees Michael McDonough and Simon Long and fourth official Michael Jones.

The interview process is believed to have been completed on Friday.

The full file of evidence from Chelsea was received by the FA at the start of the week and since then the players have also been interviewed.

The case could not be more sensitive following Chelsea skipper John Terry's four-match ban for racist abuse, and the FA is determined to deal with it as quickly as possible – especially following criticism about the length of time, almost a year, it took to deal with Terry.

Row: Clattenburg is accused of using racist language towards John Mikel Obi

Row: Clattenburg is accused of using racist language towards John Mikel Obi

Clattenburg had decided not to referee a match for a second consecutive weekend while the investigation is ongoing and now he has been left off the appointments again.

The Metropolitan Police have also launched an investigation following a complaint lodged by the Society for Black Lawyers, based on reports of the incident rather than any evidence.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has had his say, saying it was 'unthinkable' that Clattenburg would make such a comment and that he was 'convinced' he would not have done so.

Clattenburg, 37, who is on FIFA's shortlist to be a match official at the 2014 World Cup, strenuously denies the accusations against him.

Clattenburg interview by FA as investigation into alleged racism reaches conclusion

Clattenburg interview by FA over alleged racist abuse Mikel as investigation draws to close

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UPDATED:

07:20 GMT, 9 November 2012

Mark Clattenburg is understood to have been among those interviewed by the Football Association on Thursday as part of continuing investigations into Chelsea's claim that the referee used 'inappropriate language' towards John Obi Mikel.

Chelsea submitted a dossier of evidence to the FA, including signed witness statements from players, alleging Clattenburg used a term understood to have been interpreted as racist during the Premier League match against Manchester United on October 28.

The governing body are now assessing
those allegations and are believed to have spoken to Clattenburg,
assistant referees Michael McDonough and Simon Long and fourth official
Michael Jones.

Accused: Mark Clattenburg (right) with Chelsea's John Obi Mikel

Accused: Mark Clattenburg (right) with Chelsea's John Obi Mikel

The interview process is not expected to go beyond Friday, meaning there should be news on whether the case will go any further early next week.

The full file of evidence from Chelsea was received by the FA at the start of the week and since then the players have also been interviewed.

The case could not be more sensitive
following Chelsea skipper John Terry's four-match ban for racist abuse,
and the FA is determined to deal with it as quickly as possible –
especially following criticism about the length of time, almost a year,
it took to deal with Terry.

Clattenburg, meanwhile, has decided not to referee a match for a second consecutive weekend while the investigation is ongoing.

Out of action: Clattenburg will not referee this weekend

Out of action: Clattenburg will not referee this weekend

The Metropolitan Police has also launched an investigation following a complaint lodged by the Society for Black Lawyers, based on reports of the incident rather than any evidence.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has had his say, saying it was 'unthinkable' that Clattenburg would make such a comment and that he was 'convinced' he would not have done so.

Clattenburg, 37, who is on FIFA's shortlist to be a match official at the 2014 World Cup, strenuously denies the accusations against him.

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.’

Mark Clattenburg latest: Police investigate as fears mount over repeat of John Terry affair

Don't let race row 'fester' like Terry-Ferdinand affair, warn players' union as police launch Clattenburg probe
Metropolitan Police start probe after complaint over referee
Society of Black Lawyers alert police despite no first-hand evidencePFA chief Gordon Taylor warns about letting the issue 'fester'
Man United players could be called to give evidence in FA investigationMikel among Chelsea players back in training ahead of United rematch

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UPDATED:

15:55 GMT, 30 October 2012

Rio watches on with interest..

Man United defender Rio Ferdinand, who has been outspoken on racism in football, tweeted on Tuesday morning: 'Will be interesting to see how this alleged 'race' or 'insulting' language episode pans out, our game is under the microscope like never before.'

Referee Mark Clattenburg is now at centre of a police investigation over allegations that he racially abused John Obi Mikel.

There are now fears that the controversy will be left unresolved for months like the John Terry and Anton Ferdinand race row.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor has already warned that the issue must not be allowed to 'fester'.

It comes after claims in the Daily Mirror that Clattenburg was threatened by a member of the Chelsea squad, who told him: 'I'm going to f****** break your legs,'.

It follows claims that Clattenburg,
who is the subject of an FA and police investigation, racially abused
Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel. Clattenburg denies the allegation
and he is supported by his two assistants, Michael McDonough and Simon
Long.

In the spotlight: John Obi Mikel leaves Chelsea training on Tuesday as the row hangs over the club

In the spotlight: John Obi Mikel leaves Chelsea training on Tuesday as the row hangs over the club

Mikel was among the Chelsea players back
at training on Tuesday morning ahead of the rematch with United in the
Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

Professional Footballers' Association
chief executive 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.

'Football has got to be confident
enough to deal with it. I have said that to the House of Commons, the FA
Council. We need to grasp the nettle and show we are more than capable
of dealing with it.

'I'm quite concerned that when this
happened with the John Terry and Anton Ferdinand incident, the process
got elongated. This time, I want football to learn from it and deal with
it as transparently as possible.

'In football, the penalties can be
severe. In a court of law, the penalty for racial abuse would be a small
amount in comparison to what the FA could fine.'

The Metropolitan Police started their probe after an official complaint from the Society of Black Lawyers. The complaint was made on Monday, although the group admit it is on the back of media reports rather than first-hand evidence.

A police statement read: 'An investigation has been launched into alleged comments made during a football match between Chelsea FC and Manchester United FC at Stamford Bridge on 28 October 2012.
All smiles: Mikel was back with his team-mates in training amid the race row

All smiles: Mikel was back with his team-mates in training amid the race row

Eyes on the ball: Juan Mata (centre) and John Terry (right) during training on Tuesday morning

Eyes on the ball: Juan Mata (centre) and John Terry (right) during training on Tuesday morning

'This follows on from a complaint received by the Metropolitan Police Service on 29 October. Officers from Hammersmith & Fulham borough are in liaison with Chelsea Football Club and the Football Association.

'At this time, the MPS has not received any complaint from either Chelsea Football Club, or the Football Association. We continue to work in partnership with Chelsea Football Club and the Football Association in order to consider any allegation that is made in relation to the reported events.'

It was unclear whether Clattenburg would elect to continue refereeing or take a break from the game while any investigation was pending.

Police became embroiled in a second high-profile football racism case after the man behind the mooted black players' breakaway union, Peter Herbert, sent a letter to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), which read: 'The Society of Black Lawyers wishes to record the incident that took place at Chelsea FC.

'Our information is that racist remarks were directed at John Mikel Obi and at Juan Mata. If so, that is wholly unacceptable in any circumstances. Although this matter may be investigated by the FA, it is appropriate that the MPS independently see if a racially-aggravated offence has occurred.

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. 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.'

Back at work: John Obi Mikel arrives at training on Tuesday morning as the row rumbles on

Back at work: John Obi Mikel arrives at training on Tuesday morning as the row rumbles on

Focus: Juan Mata drives into Chelsea's Cobham HQ ahead of Wednesday's clash with United

Focus: Juan Mata drives into Chelsea's Cobham HQ ahead of Wednesday's clash with United

At the wheel: Fernando Torres was also among the players training on Tuesday morning

At the wheel: Fernando Torres was also among the players training on Tuesday morning

According to the Daily Mirror,
players and staff are claimed to have swarmed into the referee's room at
Stamford Bridge in the aftermath of the explosive Barclays Premier
League game with Manchester United when a heated exchange took place,
resembling a 'pub brawl'.

The
Mirror claims Chelsea players and officials 'charged into the room and
acted like bouncers'. The threat to Clattenburg was heard coming from
within the room.

The Mirror also reports that Roberto Di Matteo
left
the room 'drenched in sweat' and that captain John Terry,
who was suspended from the game following his FA charge for racially
insulting Anton Ferdinand, was close to the fracas. However,
sources close to Terry deny he was involved and, in fact, insist he
'stayed well clear.'

After the Daily Mirror claims
emerged, reporter Darren Lewis told Sky Sports News: 'There were lots of
things that were said in what was an explosive confrontation in the
referee’s room after the match.

'That (“I'll break your legs”) is one
of the things that has allegedly been said. It’s not been ascertained
by whom but a lot of things have been said inside the heat of the
dressing room during a furious confrontation.'

Among those who were either in or
close to the referee's room were manager Roberto Di Matteo and chief
executive Ron Gourlay, who were thought to be acting as peacemakers,
trying to calm the angry Mikel.

It is reported that 'banging and shouting' could be heard from inside the room and security staff were later involved.

Clattenburg has filed an
'extraordinary incident' report into the matter and has been stood down
from Saturday's matches while the investigations into his conduct take
place.

Manchester United's players, who won
3-2 at Stamford Bridge against nine-man Chelsea, are expected to be asked
by the FA: 'What did you hear on – and off – the pitch'.

When Obi Mikel stormed into the referee’s room on Sunday evening, he believed he had every right to be angry with Clattenburg.

Chelsea had made a stand, wearing Kick
It Out’s ‘One Game One Community’ T-shirts before one of the most
prestigious fixtures in the Barclays Premier League.

It
was a fresh start, with handshakes all round and an anti-racism badge
pinned to John Terry’s jacket on the sidelines as he continued to serve a
four-match ban for insulting Anton Ferdinand.

What followed is in danger of dragging the game back into the gutter, sparking bitter recrimination and — for the first time in the professional game’s history in England — an allegation of racism against a referee.

Mikel responded after team-mates David Luiz and Ramires told him they believed he had been racially abused by the FIFA official moments after he was booked at Stamford Bridge.

Mikel did not hear the alleged abuse, but Ramires and Luiz are prepared to make statements saying they did.

Trouble: John Obi Mikel stormed into Mark Clattenburg's room

Trouble: John Obi Mikel stormed into Mark Clattenburg's room

Centre of the storm: Referee Mark Clattenburg and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel

Centre of the storm: Referee Mark Clattenburg and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel

Shocked: Juan Mata is unhappy with Clattenburg's alleged insult

Shocked: Juan Mata is unhappy with Clattenburg's alleged insult

In the explosive scenes that followed the final whistle, Di Matteo and Gourlay had to stop Mikel attacking Clattenburg during the confrontation.

Heated conversations between Mikel and the referee had begun when Fernando Torres was sent off after being booked for ‘aggressive simulation’.

The central midfielder continued to cross swords with Clattenburg during the next few frantic minutes as he demanded an explanation for the decision.

Mikel wanted to know why Torres had been booked for a second time when Chelsea’s players were convinced he had been caught by Jonny Evans on his way through on goal in the 68th minute. When Clattenburg told Mikel to keep quiet and to get on with the game, the Nigeria midfielder continued to protest.

John Terry watches from the stands as Ashley Young takes on Juan Mata

John Terry watches from the stands as Ashley Young takes on Juan Mata

Terry and his wife Toni leave Novikov in London on Saturday night as he takes the chance for a night off because of his four game FA ban

Terry and his wife Toni leave Novikov in London on Saturday night as he takes the chance for a night off because of his four game FA ban

It is understood Mikel used words to the effect of: ‘Why can’t we stand up for ourselves, why can’t we challenge your decisions’

The dismissal of Torres had reduced Chelsea to nine men, coming on top of the 63rd-minute red card for Branislav Ivanovic, and emotions were running high.

When Torres was sent off, Di Matteo and Sir Alex Ferguson clashed on the touchline as coaching staff from both clubs spilled into the technical area. Clattenburg appeared to have the game under control again until the moment Javier Hernandez scored United’s winner from an offside position in the 75th minute.

As United celebrated near the corner
of the West Stand and Matthew Harding Stand, some Chelsea supporters
threw coins and a seat on to the field.

Clattenburg
soon restored order but Mikel was in his ear again and making the same
complaints, saying the decision to send off Torres was the reason
Chelsea would lose the game.

In the blue corner: Javier Hernandez celebrated his goal in front of the Chelsea fans

In the blue corner: Javier Hernandez celebrated his goal in front of the Chelsea fans

Clattenburg booked him for dissent in the 76th minute and it is at this moment that Ramires and Luiz allege they heard the midfielder being racially abused by a referee who is known for having a dismissive and patronising tone when he talks to players about their behaviour.

Mikel was immediately told about the allegation, but decided to wait until after the game to confront Clattenburg with the claims.

Chelsea have also confirmed a separate incident, understood to involve Juan Mata, after claims that Clattenburg called him ‘a Spanish t**t’.

Mata is an astute and intelligent professional and, according to sources at the club, he was visibly shocked when he heard Clattenburg’s insult.

Chelsea’s position had not changed on Monday night and the incident was the talk of their Cobham training ground in Surrey during the day. Many of the players were in for a light session after the 3-2 defeat against United and they eagerly discussed Clattenburg’s behaviour.

Standing alone: Clattenburg found few friends in Stamford Bridge

Standing alone: Clattenburg found few friends in Stamford Bridge

Some of them will face United again in
the Capital One Cup at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as Chelsea
prepare for another lengthy spell in the spotlight.

Although
the players are ready for another FA investigation, it is understood
that Manchester United are unable to help with their enquiries.

Most
of their players have been asked if they heard — or were made aware of —
either incident, but they are unable to provide any assistance.

Mikel has since told team-mates he intends to pursue the matter and they have agreed to provide statements to the FA if asked.

Following
the angry scenes in the referee’s room, witnessed by Clattenburg’s
assistants Michael McDonough and Simon Long, Chelsea discussed the
incident at length. Mikel was taken away from the corridor that leads to
the tunnel so the media, separated from the dressing-room areas by the
width of a wall, could not hear what was said.

During
those discussions, Gourlay decided to press ahead with a complaint to
match delegate Nick Cusack and arranged for some of the details to be
made public at 7.45 that evening.

Chelsea’s
deliberations were the reason for the delay between the final whistle
and Di Matteo’s appearance at his post-match press briefing.
In the spotlight: Mark Clattenburg leaves his home near Newcastle on Monday

In the spotlight: Mark Clattenburg leaves his home near Newcastle on Monday

Grabbing a lift: Clattenburg jumped into a car with fellow ref Michael Oliver

Grabbing a lift: Clattenburg jumped into a car with fellow ref Michael Oliver

Clattenburg, as required by the FA, then filed details of an ‘extraordinary incident’ at Stamford Bridge overnight.

On
Monday morning he received communication from the FA’s compliance team
as they prepared for a swift investigation into the remarkable
allegation.

Chelsea are also
under intense scrutiny after being criticised by the FA’s independent
regulatory commission following the commission’s decision to ban Terry
for four games and fine him 220,000 for racially abusing Anton
Ferdinand.

The commission judged that the Chelsea
skipper’s evidence relating to the incident at Loftus Road in October
2011 was ‘improbable, implausible and contrived’.

They
also reflected on the ‘evolution of Ashley Cole’s evidence’ that led to
an infamous tweet directed at the FA for which he was fined 90,000,
and concluded that the evidence given by long-serving club secretary
Dave Barnard was ‘materially defective’.

After Terry was banned by the FA, Di Matteo encouraged the public to give the disgraced captain ‘a second chance’.

Clattenburg
could be charged under Rule E3, the same as Terry, and there is a
determination within the FA for a swift resolution to yet another
crisis.

VIDEO: Clattenburg and Mikel have words on the pitch…

DM.has('rcpv1930696868001','BCVideo');

Anatomy of an extraordinary incident

What happened
With
the score 2-2 and Chelsea reduced to nine men after Branislav Ivanovic
and Fernando Torres were sent off, Javier Hernandez controversially puts
United ahead with 15 minutes left. In the chaos that follows, Mark
Clattenburg is confronted by Chelsea players and books John Obi Mikel in
the 76th minute. Chelsea players allege this is when Clattenburg aimed a
racial slur at Mikel and used ‘inappropriate language’ towards a
Spanish player, thought to be Juan Mata.

Who heard what
Brazilian
midfielder Ramires looked on as Clattenburg booked Mikel, the referee
raising a finger to his lips to tell the Nigerian to keep quiet. Mata
was also close by as the Chelsea players protested about United’s goal.
It is understood Mikel himself did not hear the alleged comment and was
told of it later by team-mates.

Clattenburg
was linked by microphone to his two assistants, Michael McDonough and
Simon Long, and the fourth official, Mike Jones. All four officials wear
earpieces, so any comments should have been heard — unless Clattenburg
covered his microphone.

The
microphone system was first used by Premier League referees in the
2006-07 season and allows the referee to communicate key information to
his assistants. However, the
microphone messages are not recorded, so any evidence will have to come
from the testimony of Clattenburg’s assistants.

What about video evidence
So
far there has been nothing such as the explosive film that played such a
big part in the John Terry case. Sky will undoubtedly be asked to
provide footage from the many cameras they use to cover live matches. In
the Terry case, footage was posted on the internet within hours of the
end of the match.

What next
Clattenburg
and his match officials will have been asked for a statement, usually
sent by email to the FA’s governance department, on their recollection
of events at Stamford Bridge.

The
officials are urged to tell the truth and are reminded that this case
could be judged by an independent regulatory commission.

Match officials may seek independent legal advice.

FA urge officials to respond quickly, particularly in light of delays to Luis Suarez and John Terry cases.

Compliance department meets to discuss the nature of Chelsea’s complaint and the evidence of the match officials.

If
they charge Clattenburg under Rule E3 he will have 14 days to respond.
He may request a personal hearing or accept the allegations.

If
Clattenburg is charged, the FA will visit the match officials and any
other witnesses, including John Obi Mikel, Juan Mata and other Chelsea
players, to take full statements.

The
FA’s handling of the case could, of course, be delayed by any police
proceedings. The John Terry case did, after all, hang over football for
12 months.

Professional referees
English
referees first became professional in 2001 when the Professional Game
Match Officials Board (PGMOB) was formed. Top Premier League referees
are paid an annual salary in excess of 70,000, which includes a
retainer and individual match fees of around 1,000.

The
best officials typically referee around 30 Premier League games a
season, though this can fluctuate depending on form. Those at the top
are then selected by FIFA and UEFA to take charge of big games. Howard
Webb refereed both the World Cup and Champions League finals in 2010.

ANDREW MAGEE, JAMIE PRESLAND

Mark Clattenburg latest: Chelsea player "I"ll break your leg" threat and John Terry claims

Was race row ref Clattenburg told: 'I'll break your legs,' by a Chelsea player in the explosive row that rocked Stamford BridgeChelsea players and officials 'acted like bouncers', it is claimedWas banned captain John Terry involved in the rowManager Di Matteo emerged 'sweating' after acting as peacemakerRef is stood down from this weekend's matches but says he is innocentManchester United players will be called to give evidence in FA investigationMikel among Chelsea players back in training ahead of United rematch

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UPDATED:

11:32 GMT, 30 October 2012

Race storm referee Mark Clattenburg was threatened by a member of the Chelsea squad, who told him: 'I'm going to f****** break your legs,', it has been claimed.

Players and staff swarmed into the referee's room at Stamford Bridge in the aftermath of the explosive Barclays Premier League game with Manchester United when a heated exchange took place, resembling a 'pub brawl'.

The Daily Mirror claims Chelsea players and officials 'charged into the room and acted like bouncers'. The threat to Clattenburg was heard coming from within the room.

The Mirror also reports that Roberto Di Matteo
left
the room 'drenched in sweat' and that captain John Terry,
who was suspended from the game following his FA charge for racially
insulting Anton Ferdinand, was close to the fracas. Today, however,
sources close to Terry deny he was involved and, in fact, insist he
'stayed well clear.'

It follows claims that Clattenburg,
who is the subject of an FA and police investigation, racially abused
Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel. Clattenburg denies the allegation
and he is supported by his two assistants, Michael McDonough and Simon
Long.

Back at work: John Obi Mikel arrives at training on Tuesday morning as the row rumbles on

Back at work: John Obi Mikel arrives at training on Tuesday morning as the row rumbles on

Focus: Juan Mata drives into Chelsea's Cobham HQ ahead of Wednesday's clash with United

Focus: Juan Mata drives into Chelsea's Cobham HQ ahead of Wednesday's clash with United

At the wheel: Fernando Torres was also among the players training on Tuesday morning

At the wheel: Fernando Torres was also among the players training on Tuesday morning

Mikel was among the Chelsea players back at training on Tuesday morning ahead of the rematch with United in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

Mirror reporter Darren Lewis told Sky Sports News today: 'There were lots of things that were said in what was an explosive confrontation in the referee’s room after the match.

'That (“I'll break your legs”) is one of the things that has allegedly been said. It’s not been ascertained by whom but a lot of things have been said inside the heat of the dressing room during a furious confrontation.'

Among those who were either in or close to the referee's room were manager Roberto Di Matteo and chief executive Ron Gourlay, who were thought to be acting as peacemakers, trying to calm the angry Mikel.

It is reported that 'banging and shouting' could be heard from inside the room and security staff were later involved.

Trouble: John Obi Mikel stormed into Mark Clattenburg's room

Trouble: John Obi Mikel stormed into Mark Clattenburg's room

Centre of the storm: Referee Mark Clattenburg and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel

Centre of the storm: Referee Mark Clattenburg and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel

Clattenburg has filed an
'extraordinary incident' report into the matter and has been stood down
from Saturday's matches while the investigations into his conduct take
place.

Manchester United's players, who won
3-2 at Stamford Bridge against ten-man Chelsea, are expected to be asked
by the FA: 'What did you hear on – and off – the pitch'.

When Obi Mikel stormed into the referee’s room on Sunday evening, he believed he had every right to be angry with Clattenburg.

Chelsea had made a stand, wearing Kick
It Out’s ‘One Game One Community’ T-shirts before one of the most
prestigious fixtures in the Barclays Premier League.

It
was a fresh start, with handshakes all round and an anti-racism badge
pinned to John Terry’s jacket on the sidelines as he continued to serve a
four-match ban for insulting Anton Ferdinand.

What followed is in danger of dragging the game back into the gutter, sparking bitter recrimination and — for the first time in the professional game’s history in England — an allegation of racism against a referee.

Mikel responded after team-mates David Luiz and Ramires told him they believed he had been racially abused by the FIFA official moments after he was booked at Stamford Bridge.

Mikel did not hear the alleged abuse, but Ramires and Luiz are prepared to make statements saying they did.

Shocked: Juan Mata is unhappy with Clattenburg's alleged insult

Shocked: Juan Mata is unhappy with Clattenburg's alleged insult

In the explosive scenes that followed the final whistle, Di Matteo and Gourlay had to stop Mikel attacking Clattenburg during the confrontation.

Heated conversations between Mikel and the referee had begun when Fernando Torres was sent off after being booked for ‘aggressive simulation’.

The central midfielder continued to cross swords with Clattenburg during the next few frantic minutes as he demanded an explanation for the decision.

Mikel wanted to know why Torres had been booked for a second time when Chelsea’s players were convinced he had been caught by Jonny Evans on his way through on goal in the 68th minute. When Clattenburg told Mikel to keep quiet and to get on with the game, the Nigeria midfielder continued to protest.

John Terry watches from the stands as Ashley Young takes on Juan Mata

John Terry watches from the stands as Ashley Young takes on Juan Mata

Terry and his wife Toni leave Novikov in London on Saturday night as he takes the chance for a night off because of his four game FA ban

Terry and his wife Toni leave Novikov in London on Saturday night as he takes the chance for a night off because of his four game FA ban

It is understood Mikel used words to the effect of: ‘Why can’t we stand up for ourselves, why can’t we challenge your decisions’

The dismissal of Torres had reduced Chelsea to nine men, coming on top of the 63rd-minute red card for Branislav Ivanovic, and emotions were running high.

When Torres was sent off, Di Matteo and Sir Alex Ferguson clashed on the touchline as coaching staff from both clubs spilled into the technical area. Clattenburg appeared to have the game under control again until the moment Javier Hernandez scored United’s winner from an offside position in the 75th minute.

As United celebrated near the corner
of the West Stand and Matthew Harding Stand, some Chelsea supporters
threw coins and a seat on to the field.

Clattenburg
soon restored order but Mikel was in his ear again and making the same
complaints, saying the decision to send off Torres was the reason
Chelsea would lose the game.

In the blue corner: Javier Hernandez celebrated his goal in front of the Chelsea fans

In the blue corner: Javier Hernandez celebrated his goal in front of the Chelsea fans

Clattenburg booked him for dissent in the 76th minute and it is at this moment that Ramires and Luiz allege they heard the midfielder being racially abused by a referee who is known for having a dismissive and patronising tone when he talks to players about their behaviour.

Mikel was immediately told about the allegation, but decided to wait until after the game to confront Clattenburg with the claims.

Chelsea have also confirmed a separate incident, understood to involve Juan Mata, after claims that Clattenburg called him ‘a Spanish t**t’.

Mata is an astute and intelligent professional and, according to sources at the club, he was visibly shocked when he heard Clattenburg’s insult.

Chelsea’s position had not changed on Monday night and the incident was the talk of their Cobham training ground in Surrey during the day. Many of the players were in for a light session after the 3-2 defeat against United and they eagerly discussed Clattenburg’s behaviour.

Standing alone: Clattenburg found few friends in Stamford Bridge

Standing alone: Clattenburg found few friends in Stamford Bridge

Some of them will face United again in
the Capital One Cup at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as Chelsea
prepare for another lengthy spell in the spotlight.

Although
the players are ready for another FA investigation, it is understood
that Manchester United are unable to help with their enquiries.

Most
of their players have been asked if they heard — or were made aware of —
either incident, but they are unable to provide any assistance.

Mikel has since told team-mates he intends to pursue the matter and they have agreed to provide statements to the FA if asked.

Following
the angry scenes in the referee’s room, witnessed by Clattenburg’s
assistants Michael McDonough and Simon Long, Chelsea discussed the
incident at length. Mikel was taken away from the corridor that leads to
the tunnel so the media, separated from the dressing-room areas by the
width of a wall, could not hear what was said.

During
those discussions, Gourlay decided to press ahead with a complaint to
match delegate Nick Cusack and arranged for some of the details to be
made public at 7.45 that evening.

Chelsea’s
deliberations were the reason for the delay between the final whistle
and Di Matteo’s appearance at his post-match press briefing.

Clattenburg, as required by the FA, then filed details of an ‘extraordinary incident’ at Stamford Bridge overnight.

On
Monday morning he received communication from the FA’s compliance team
as they prepared for a swift investigation into the remarkable
allegation.

Chelsea are also
under intense scrutiny after being criticised by the FA’s independent
regulatory commission following the commission’s decision to ban Terry
for four games and fine him 220,000 for racially abusing Anton
Ferdinand.


In the spotlight: Mark Clattenburg leaves his home near Newcastle on Monday

In the spotlight: Mark Clattenburg leaves his home near Newcastle on Monday

Grabbing a lift: Clattenburg jumped into a car with fellow ref Michael Oliver

Grabbing a lift: Clattenburg jumped into a car with fellow ref Michael Oliver

The commission judged that the Chelsea
skipper’s evidence relating to the incident at Loftus Road in October
2011 was ‘improbable, implausible and contrived’.

They
also reflected on the ‘evolution of Ashley Cole’s evidence’ that led to
an infamous tweet directed at the FA for which he was fined 90,000,
and concluded that the evidence given by long-serving club secretary
Dave Barnard was ‘materially defective’.

After Terry was banned by the FA, Di Matteo encouraged the public to give the disgraced captain ‘a second chance’.

Clattenburg
could be charged under Rule E3, the same as Terry, and there is a
determination within the FA for a swift resolution to yet another
crisis.

VIDEO: Clattenburg and Mikel have words on the pitch…

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Anatomy of an extraordinary incident

What happened
With
the score 2-2 and Chelsea reduced to nine men after Branislav Ivanovic
and Fernando Torres were sent off, Javier Hernandez controversially puts
United ahead with 15 minutes left. In the chaos that follows, Mark
Clattenburg is confronted by Chelsea players and books John Obi Mikel in
the 76th minute. Chelsea players allege this is when Clattenburg aimed a
racial slur at Mikel and used ‘inappropriate language’ towards a
Spanish player, thought to be Juan Mata.

Who heard what
Brazilian
midfielder Ramires looked on as Clattenburg booked Mikel, the referee
raising a finger to his lips to tell the Nigerian to keep quiet. Mata
was also close by as the Chelsea players protested about United’s goal.
It is understood Mikel himself did not hear the alleged comment and was
told of it later by team-mates.

Clattenburg
was linked by microphone to his two assistants, Michael McDonough and
Simon Long, and the fourth official, Mike Jones. All four officials wear
earpieces, so any comments should have been heard — unless Clattenburg
covered his microphone.

The
microphone system was first used by Premier League referees in the
2006-07 season and allows the referee to communicate key information to
his assistants. However, the
microphone messages are not recorded, so any evidence will have to come
from the testimony of Clattenburg’s assistants.

What about video evidence
So
far there has been nothing such as the explosive film that played such a
big part in the John Terry case. Sky will undoubtedly be asked to
provide footage from the many cameras they use to cover live matches. In
the Terry case, footage was posted on the internet within hours of the
end of the match.

What next
Clattenburg
and his match officials will have been asked for a statement, usually
sent by email to the FA’s governance department, on their recollection
of events at Stamford Bridge.

The
officials are urged to tell the truth and are reminded that this case
could be judged by an independent regulatory commission.

Match officials may seek independent legal advice.

FA urge officials to respond quickly, particularly in light of delays to Luis Suarez and John Terry cases.

Compliance department meets to discuss the nature of Chelsea’s complaint and the evidence of the match officials.

If
they charge Clattenburg under Rule E3 he will have 14 days to respond.
He may request a personal hearing or accept the allegations.

If
Clattenburg is charged, the FA will visit the match officials and any
other witnesses, including John Obi Mikel, Juan Mata and other Chelsea
players, to take full statements.

The
FA’s handling of the case could, of course, be delayed by any police
proceedings. The John Terry case did, after all, hang over football for
12 months.

Professional referees
English
referees first became professional in 2001 when the Professional Game
Match Officials Board (PGMOB) was formed. Top Premier League referees
are paid an annual salary in excess of 70,000, which includes a
retainer and individual match fees of around 1,000.

The
best officials typically referee around 30 Premier League games a
season, though this can fluctuate depending on form. Those at the top
are then selected by FIFA and UEFA to take charge of big games. Howard
Webb refereed both the World Cup and Champions League finals in 2010.

ANDREW MAGEE, JAMIE PRESLAND

Mark Clattenburg under siege as FA and police probe ref

Clattenburg under siege as police and FA probe race-row ref following Chelsea claim

|

UPDATED:

23:37 GMT, 29 October 2012

Mark Clattenburg is fighting to save his career after the Football Association and police began formal investigations into allegations that he racially abused Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel.

Clattenburg has denied making any inappropriate comments and his account will be backed by assistants Michael McDonough and Simon Long, along with fourth official Mike Jones.

The referee, at the centre of the storm on Sunday following his handling of Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat by Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, complied with FA regulations by filing an ‘extraordinary incident’ report on Monday.

Scroll down for video

In the spotilight: Mark Clattenburg, leaves his home near Newcastle on Monday

In the spotilight: Mark Clattenburg, leaves his home near Newcastle on Monday

Grabbing a lift: Clattenburg jumped into a car with fellow ref Michael Oliver

Grabbing a lift: Clattenburg jumped into a car with fellow ref Michael Oliver

It relates to Chelsea allegations that he made inappropriate remarks to two of their players and was later confronted by manager Roberto Di Matteo, Mikel and chief executive Ron Gourlay.

Mikel did not hear the alleged abuse, but the account has been backed up by two Chelsea players — reported to be Brazilian duo Ramires and David Luiz — who are both prepared to make statements.

The 85,000-a-year official has been taken off this weekend’s Premier League match list as the FA compliance department begins a top-level inquiry.

Police will begin an investigation after Peter Herbert, chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, wrote asking them to open up an investigation into Clattenburg’s conduct. That could damage the FA’s hopes of a speedy resolution — waiting for a police inquiry to end meant John Terry’s recent case ultimately took nearly a year to be decided

Accused: Clattenburg is alleged to have racially abused John Obi Mikel (right) during Chelsea's defeat

Accused: Clattenburg is alleged to have racially abused John Obi Mikel (right) during Chelsea's defeat

Dispute: Mikel complains to Clattenburg as his side slump to defeat at Stamford Bridge

Dispute: Mikel complains to Clattenburg as his side slump to defeat at Stamford Bridge

Meanwhile, the investigation will jeopardise Clattenburg’s standing in the game and could affect his chances of making it on to the FIFA list for the 2014 World Cup. In addition to Clattenburg’s initial incident report, which was studied by the FA’s governance department on Monday morning, he will be asked to provide a detailed statement of the controversial incidents.

Chelsea allege Clattenburg used ‘inappropriate language’ in two separate exchanges with Mikel and Chelsea winger Juan Mata during their first Premier League defeat of the season.

Assistants McDonough and Long — who both ran the line — and fourth official Jones will provide additional statements for the FA’s compliance department.

Marching orders: Referee Mark Clattenburg showed two red cards to Chelsea players on Sunday

Marching orders: Referee Mark Clattenburg showed two red cards to Chelsea players on Sunday

Marching orders: Branislav Ivanovic was sent off (above) while Clattenburg struggled to contain both sides

Marching orders: Branislav Ivanovic was sent off (above) while Clattenburg struggled to contain both sides

Fernando Torres of Chelsea talks to referee Mark Clattenburg

They wore ‘crystal clear’ wireless technology microphones which suppress crowd noise and allow officials to communicate without distraction. Although the conversations are not recorded, Professional Game Match Officials sources claim it is ‘inconceivable’ that the use of an offensive or inappropriate phrase would not have been heard by the officials.

A statement released on Monday said: ‘PGMO believe that, with any football match, the focus should not be on the officials but on the players and the game itself. Mark Clattenburg is one of the elite referees in world football and, in these circumstances, the intense level of scrutiny would detract from the match and be unfair to the clubs and the supporters of both sides.’

Tough time: Clattenburg was given a hostile reception by the Chelsea fans as he left the field

Tough time: Clattenburg was given a hostile reception by the Chelsea fans as he left the field

Winner: Javier Hernandez scores Manchester United's third goal (above) and celebrates (below)

Winner: Javier Hernandez scores Manchester United's third goal

 Javier Hernandez scores

VIDEO: Did referee abuse black Chelsea player See the John Obi Mikel incident here…

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Mark Clattenburg allegedly racist towards John Obi Mikel in Chelsea v Manchester United

Ref race row! Chelsea accuse Clattenburg of abusing Mikel and referring to a 'Spanish t***' during fiery United win at the Bridge
Clattenburg accused of aiming racist slur at Nigerian midfielderReferee also claimed to have directed insult at another Blues starFuming Chelsea chiefs stormed into ref's room after matchFA and Premier League will now consider allegations

|

UPDATED:

07:54 GMT, 29 October 2012

Referee Mark Clattenburg was caught up in a storm on Sunday night after being accused of aiming a racist insult at Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel during their 3-2 home defeat by Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea made a complaint to the Premier League after Mikel stormed into the referee’s room to demand an apology after claiming Clattenburg made a racist slur when he booked the midfielder in the 76th minute.

One of Chelsea’s Spanish stars is also involved after players claim they heard Clattenburg refer to him as ‘a Spanish t**t’.

Accused: Clattenburg is alleged to have racially abused John Obi Mikel (right) during Chelsea's defeat

Accused: Clattenburg is alleged to have racially abused John Obi Mikel (right) during Chelsea's defeat

Dispute: Mikel complains to Clattenburg as his side slump to defeat at Stamford Bridge

Dispute: Mikel complains to Clattenburg as his side slump to defeat at Stamford Bridge

Why assistant refs could be crucial…

The FA and Premier League could ask Sky TV for footage from the 20 camera angles used for the big live matches to help confirm whether Mark Clattenburg made an inappropriate or racially aggravated comment. Premier League refs wear microphones, which means evidence from Michael McDonough and Simon Long — who both ran the line — and fourth official Michael Jones may prove crucial.

Chelsea made the official complaint at 7.45pm on Sunday night, but Clattenburg had already been confronted by then.

Chief executive Ron Gourlay, with Mikel and manager Roberto Di Matteo, demanded an apology during stormy scenes in the referee’s room.

Clattenburg refused and Chelsea decided to take the incredible action of launching an immediate complaint to the Premier League over his language.

Marching orders: Referee Mark Clattenburg showed two red cards to Chelsea players on Sunday

Marching orders: Referee Mark Clattenburg showed two red cards to Chelsea players on Sunday

According to sources close to the players, they are willing to make statements to the FA’s disciplinary committee this week.

A club spokesman said: ‘We have lodged a complaint to the Premier League match delegate with regards to inappropriate language used by the referee and directed at two of our players in two separate incidents in today’s match. The match delegate will pass the complaint to the FA.’

The matter is now in the hands of the FA and Premier League officials, who will ask Sky TV for footage from the 20 camera angles used for live matches.

While not all are recorded, they should help confirm whether Clattenburg made an inappropriate or racially aggravated comment.

Marching orders: Branislav Ivanovic was sent off (above) while Clattenburg struggled to contain both sides

Marching orders: Branislav Ivanovic was sent off (above) while Clattenburg struggled to contain both sides

Fernando Torres of Chelsea talks to referee Mark Clattenburg

Premier League referees also wear
microphones, which suggests evidence by Michael McDonough and Simon Long
— who ran the line — or fourth official Michael Jones could be crucial.

The incidents occurred on the day Chelsea threw support behind the Kick Racism Out of Football campaign.

Players from Chelsea and United — with the exception of United’s Ashley Young — wore One Game One Community T-shirts in the warm-up.

Tough time: Clattenburg was given a hostile reception by the Chelsea fans as he left the field

Tough time: Clattenburg was given a hostile reception by the Chelsea fans as he left the field

John Terry, serving a four-match ban for
racially insulting Anton Ferdinand last October, wore a Kick It Out
badge as he watched from the sidelines.

Rio Ferdinand, fined 45,000 for his ‘choc ice’ tweet, also ended his feud with Ashley Cole when they shook hands before the game.

But all that was forgotten amid dramatic scenes nearly two hours after the final whistle.

Winner: Javier Hernandez scores Manchester United's third goal (above) and celebrates (below)

Winner: Javier Hernandez scores Manchester United's third goal (above) and celebrates (below)

 Javier Hernandez scores

Home players heard the alleged comment to Mikel and will back up his story. Clattenburg said he would co-operate with any inquiry.

Professional Game Match Officials, the body which represents Premier League referees, released a statement which read: ‘PGMO is aware of the allegations and they are being treated with the utmost seriousness. Mark will co-operate fully and welcomes the opportunity for the facts to be established.’