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Dublin: 13°C Sunday 16 May 2021

In the clear but Mark Clattenburg admits he feared for his refereeing career

Premier League official Clattenburg was cleared by the Football Association yesterday of racially abusing John Obi Mikel.

Mark Clattenburg.
Mark Clattenburg.
Image: Getty images

REFEREE MARK CLATTENBURG has detailed the ‘frightening’ possibility of his career being ruined by John Obi Mikel’s false accusation of racism. Clattenburg, 37, was cleared by the Football Association yesterday of racially abusing Mikel during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea on 28 October. The FA has since charged Mikel with misconduct, specifically the use of ‘threatening and/or abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour in or near the Match Officials’ room’. “I am looking forward to putting this behind me and concentrating on refereeing in the Premier League and other competitions,” Clattenburg said in a statement. “To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening. 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.” Referees’ chief Mike Riley says Clattenburg will not be seeking compensation. Chelsea came under criticism for making the explosive accusations public in the aftermath of their controversial defeat at home to United, in which the referee harshly dismissed the hosts’ striker Fernando Torres. “I know first-hand the ramifications of allegations of this nature being placed into the public domain ahead of a formal process and investigation,” he said. ”I hope no referee has to go through this in the future.” Referees’ Association secretary Alan Leighton has called for Chelsea to publicly apologise for the false accusations, and provide Clattenburg with compensation for ‘loss of earnings, damage to his reputations and stress’.

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