Clattenburg in the clear but FA slap Chelsea star with charge

16:44 22 November 2012

Manchester United

Manchester United's Patrice Evra, Chelsea's Mikel (third right) and Juan Mata (left) arguing a decision with referee Mark Clattenburg (centre) during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

The Football Association will take no action against referee Mark Clattenburg over a complaint by Chelsea that he used a racist remark towards John Obi Mikel, but the Blues man has been charged over the incident.

The FA have decided there is “no case to answer” over the allegation the referee said “shut up you monkey” to the midfielder.

An FA statement also said the complaint by Mikel’s team-mate Ramires was “made in good faith”.

However, the Nigeria international has been charged by the FA with alleged misconduct after the match.

Clattenburg spoke of his relief and said the last few weeks had been “the most stressful of his life”.

He said: “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 to 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 FA said the evidence had been considered by independent QC David Waters who ruled Ramires’ claim was not supported by any other evidence and disputed by the other match officials.

An FA statement added: “Moreover it was contradicted by other witnesses and does not cross the evidential threshold required to bring a charge against Mark Clattenburg.

“Having considered Counsel’s opinion, and in view of all the circumstances of the case, The FA does not believe that there is a case for Mr Clattenburg to answer.”

Alan Leighton, national secretary of Prospect, the referees’ union, would like Chelsea to apologise and compensate Clattenburg for what he has been through.

“There was no doubt he was innocent,” he told Sky Sports News.

“There are lessons to be learned. Mark is very upset that his reputation has been dragged through the mud by this process, there was no need for Chelsea to make the public aware of the allegation.

“There is also an issue of flimsiness about the evidence provided.

“We need Chelsea to accept the verdict, apologise to Mark and compensate him for that.”

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