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Referee backlash no problem for Di Matteo

SoccerNews in English Premier League 2 Nov 2012

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Roberto Di Matteo has backed referees to treat Chelsea the same as any other Premier League side.

His comments come despite the club’s official complaint to the FA regarding alleged racist comments made by referee Mark Clattenburg.

Di Matteo’s side have lodged a formal complaint against Clattenburg in the wake of their 3-2 home defeat to Manchester United, where it was alleged that the referee made racial remarks towards midfielders John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata.

However, Di Matteo believes the developing saga will not influence Premier League officiating as far as matters on the pitch for his team are concerned.

Di Matteo told reporters at Friday’s press conference: “I really hope referees won’t treat Chelsea differently and I believe they won’t. I have faith in them.”

The Chelsea boss also believes that Mikel will be in the right frame of mind despite the distraction Chelsea’s complaint will bring.

Mikel started the Capital One Cup clash against United just two days after their initial encounter and Di Matteo sees no reason why the Nigerian cannot continue in Chelsea’s starting line-up.

Di Matteo said of Mikel: “His frame of mind is good. He is focused on the training and the playing”.

The Italian coach also stated that he and the club are united on the main issue at hand – the fight against all forms of discrimination.

He added: “We are against any form of discrimination. We will support anybody who is fighting that.”

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