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English FA clears Clattenburg, charges Mikel

Referee Mark Clattenburg has been cleared by the English FA of any racist abuse towards Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, who has been charged with misconduct, following the Blues’ defeat to Manchester United last month.

Mikel, 25, has been charged for the alleged use of abusive and threatening words and/or behaviour in close proximity with the officials changing room.

The Nigeria international reportedly ambushed the referees’ room after Chelsea team-mate Ramires told him that Clattenburg called him a ‘monkey.’

According to reports, Mikel did not hear what was said, or not said, by Clattenburg at the time.

Ramires’ allegations were proved false by unbroadcasted video footage of the match from motionless cameras as well as witnesses who contradicted the Brazilian’s claim.

Clattenburg has been sidelined from English Premier League action for the last four weeks, but he’s looking forward to returning to the pitch.

“I am looking forward to putting this behind me and concentrating on refereeing in the Premier League and other competitions.

“I am extremely grateful for the invaluable support of my family, my Select Group colleagues, the management of Professional Game Match Officials Limited and our union Prospect. The messages of encouragement from those inside and outside of the game have helped me through the most stressful time of my professional life.

“To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening.

“Racism has no place in football and this experience should not discourage those to speak out if they genuinely believe they are a victim of abuse. However, there are processes that should be adhered in order that any investigation can be carried out in a manner that is fair for all parties involved.

“I know first-hand the ramifications of allegations of this nature being placed into the public domain ahead of a formal process and investigation. I hope no referee has to go through this in the future.”

The 37-year-old Englishman will be named for one of the fixtures next midweek on Friday, but do not expect him to be in charge of Chelsea v Fulham at Stamford Bridge.

Despite back the horrendous blunder that almost cost Mark Clattenburg his job and reputation, Chelsea Football Club have yet to issue an official apology.

Alan Leighton, national secretary of Prospect, believes that Chelsea should apologise and compensate Clattenburg for what he’s been through the past few weeks.

I’d have to agree, and I would think that most uninvolved parties would too. Nothing can erase the negative publicity he has received over the last four weeks, but four-times his salary for the four matches he missed seems about fair.

Furthermore, Ramires, who made the initial allegations, should definitely be punished for instigating a false investigation into Clattenburg, an innocent man.

Thu 22 November, 2012
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