FA hit out at criticism over handling of Clattenburg-Chelsea row

The Football Association has responded to criticism of the way in which it is handling the racism allegation made by Chelsea and John Obi Mikel against Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg, the Daily Mirror has reported. Clattenburg denies the claim.

Chelsea made their complaint to the FA after the defeat to Manchester United in October, with the club alleging that Clattenburg had used “inappropriate language” towards Mikel. The language is thought to have been interpreted as racially-charged.

The Society of Black Lawyers then issued a formal complaint to the Metropolitan Police, who are duty-bound to investigate once a member of the public raises the issue. Neither Chelsea nor Mikel had sought to involve the police before the SBL intervened.

It was announced earlier this week that the Police were ending their investigation into the incident after a victim failed to come forward and because of a lack of evidence. A statement from the force confirmed that if a victim was to come forward they would resume their inquiries.

Peter Herbert of the SBL, then released a statement accusing the FA of being “institutionally racist” and of coming to an agreement with Chelsea not to involve an outside authority in the matter.

David Bernstein, the chairman of the FA, said in reply: “These ill-informed and unhelpful remarks are at odds with the progressive and responsible approach being followed by the game with the support of Government to deal with these serious issues.

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