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Chelsea regret handling of Clattenburg complaint

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By Andrew Tuft

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Chelsea have admitted they could have treated the allegation made by John Obi Mikel against referee Mark Clattenburg differently, the BBC has reported.

Mark Clattenburg

Clattenburg was accused of directing a racist term towards Mikel during Chelsea’s defeat to Manchester United on October 28, and subsequently missed four rounds of Premier League matches as the Football Association investigated the facts surrounding the incident. Clattenburg was later found not to have a case to answer, while Chelsea insisted they had a duty to raise the issue after the complaint by Mikel, based on evidence from Ramires.

It had been feared that Clattenburg would now be unable to officiate a Chelsea fixture but the club indicated that there would be no problem with the 37-year-old taking charge of a Blues match. Chelsea, the FA and the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) issued a joint statement in which the club expressed “regret” for their handling of the matter, while all parties called for an end to the controversy.

Chelsea’s expression of regret was taken by the referees’ union, Prospect, as an apology for the duress caused to Clattenburg, while the FA and PGMOL accepted that Chelsea had to back Mikel once the club became aware of the allegation.

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