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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 15 May 2021

Clattenburg controversy: Mata, Torres did not hear comment, says Romeu

“From what I have understood they didn’t hear anything,” Chelsea midfielder Oriel Romeu tells Spanish radio.

Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

CHELSEA MIDFIELDER ORIOL Romeu says Juan Mata and Fernando Torres did not hear an alleged racial remark from referee Mark Clattenburg.

Romeu, 21, was an unused substitute as Chelsea suffered a 3-2 loss to Manchester United in the English Premier League on Sunday.

His Spanish team-mate Mata is among the players said to have taken offence to some of the language used by Clattenburg during the game.

The key exchange, however, occurred between Clattenburg and John Obi Mikel immediately after Javier Hernandez’s 75th-minute winner, during which the Nigerian was booked for dissent.

According to Romeu, Chelsea’s Spaniards were not aware of any comment at the time.

“Neither Juan nor Fernando told me they heard it because from what I have understood they didn’t hear anything,” Romeu told Spanish radio station Cope.

It was someone else who heard it, but not directly at them. It was another player who heard it and that is what they told me.

I didn’t hear anything as I left quickly to go home but after talking to Juan he told me there was some problem and he had to stay.

I only know Chelsea made a complaint and I think there could really be a problem if what Chelsea players say happened really happened.

The incident is the latest in a string of controversies involving racism in football over the past 12 months, including the Football Association finding both Luis Suarez and John Terry guilty of racial abuse.

Dissatisfaction with some of the game’s leading anti-discrimination campaigns, most notably Kick It Out, has been voiced by a number of high-profile players.

Clattenburg will not be officiating a game this upcoming weekend as the FA continue their inquiry into Sunday’s incident in response to the formal complaint lodged by Chelsea.

Romeu is confident the issue will be dealt with appropriately.

“We know in this country people are very vigilant about these issues,” he said.”If there was really a racist comment or something said against a Spanish player this will be serious.”

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