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Dublin: 16 °C Monday 3 August, 2020

Chelsea 'regret' racism charges against referee Mark Clattenburg

Last week the Football Association decided to take no disciplinary action whatsoever against Clattenburg.

Mark Clattenburg: returns to action properly this week.
Mark Clattenburg: returns to action properly this week.
Image: Jon Buckle/PA Wire

CHELSEA FOOTBALL CLUB have today expressed their “regrets” over the way they complained of racist abuse by referee Mark Clattenburg.

The European champions, in a a joint statement with referees’ body Professional Game Match Officials Limited and the Premier League, admitted they should have “given more consideration” before making their allegation public.

Last week the Football Association decided to take no disciplinary action whatsoever against Clattenburg following an investigation into Chelsea’s allegation he used “inappropriate language” against midfielder John Obi Mikel.

That followed an earlier decision by police to end their enquiries into the incident due to a lack of evidence.

“A meeting took place on Monday afternoon at St George’s Park between Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the Premier League and Chelsea Football Club,” the statement on the club’s website reads.

“PGMOL were represented by General Manager Mike Riley and all 16 Select Group referees, the Premier League by Chief Executive Richard Scudamore and Chelsea FC by Chairman Bruce Buck. This is a joint statement from all parties. Following the completion of the investigation by The FA into the case involving Chelsea FC and Mark Clattenburg, the Premier League and Chelsea FC requested, and PGMOL agreed, to meet in order to discuss the issues surrounding the reporting of the allegation.

“The Select Group appreciated the opportunity to speak to Bruce Buck personally. His willingness to engage and answer all the questions put to him was welcomed. There was a constructive and open discussion.

“The club regrets not having given more consideration before issuing a statement on the evening of Sunday, 28th October. The club also regrets the subsequent impact the intense media scrutiny had on Mark Clattenburg and his family.

“The referees accept that, given Chelsea FC had received a good faith claim from one of their employees, the club had an obligation under FA rules to report the allegation. There was recognition by all parties that the impartiality and integrity of refereeing in this country remains paramount. Chelsea FC made it clear they would welcome Mark Clattenburg back to Stamford Bridge in the future and PGMOL would have no issue in appointing him to a Chelsea FC match going forward.

“It was a thoroughly professional meeting. All parties now believe it is time to draw a line under this incident, learn from it and move on for the good of all Premier League clubs, players and match officials,” the statement concludes.

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