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Mikel was expecting FA ban over Clattenburg quarrel

Chelsea's Mikel (centre) arguing with referee Mark Clattenburg. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA wire Chelsea's Mikel (centre) arguing with referee Mark Clattenburg. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA wire

By Harry Kemble, sport@london24.co.uk
Friday, December 7, 2012
2:48 PM

Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel was “expecting” the Football Association’s decision to ban him for three games after he confronted referee Mark Clattenburg, interim manager Rafael Benitez has said.

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The 25-year-old will be suspended immediately and will remain unavailable for domestic duty until Boxing Day.

Benitez, speaking ahead of his side’s match against Sunderland tomorrow, says the punishment, together with a £60,000 fine, came as no surprise.

“I was talking to Mikel, we were expecting it,” the Blues boss said. “We’ll have to move forward. It’s a problem for us but we knew more or less it would be like this.

“I think he was talking to the people in charge. I have to concentrate on my team. We have our chances if we start winning games.”

The Nigerian midfielder received the punishment after admitting a charge of using threatening or abusive language in the match official’s changing room after the game against Manchester United on October 28.

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