Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Union gives support to Clattenburg

Mark Clattenburg has recevied backing from the referees' union over allegations made by Chelsea
Mark Clattenburg has recevied backing from the referees' union over allegations made by Chelsea

The referees' union has pledged its "full support" to Mark Clattenburg after Chelsea accused him of using "inappropriate language" towards John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata.

Clattenburg is waiting to hear whether the Football Association will launch an investigation into allegations he made comments towards Mikel and Mata, which are understood to have been interpreted as racist, during the Blues' Barclays Premier League defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.

The 37-year-old from Gosforth was given the full backing of Prospect, which said in a statement: "Prospect is committed to helping to eradicate racism in football and in society generally. In the context of that commitment, Prospect is offering full support to Mark Clattenburg in relation to the allegations made against him."

The statement continued: "It is now important that the allegations are fully investigated through the proper process as quickly as possible."

Former Premier League referee Jeff Winter, who retired shortly before Clattenburg became a member of the top-flight Select Group, claimed the official's career was doomed if he was proven to have used racist language towards a player.

Luis Suarez and John Terry received respective eight and four-match suspensions this year for racially abusing Patrice Evra and Anton Ferdinand. But Winter, who refereed for over 25 years, feels Clattenburg would be forced from the game if found guilty.

"If a match official has used racial insults or language to a player then he's for the high jump," Winter told Radio 5 Live. "He won't be getting a four-match or an eight-match ban, it'll probably be the end of his career, but that is if indeed he did say anything."

Clattenburg was unavailable for comment directly, but the body that represents referees, Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO), released a statement on Sunday night in which it said the referee has promised to co-operate with any investigation.

The Football Association were expected to receive the match delegate's report which contain Chelsea's allegations on Monday.

Chelsea, United and anti-racism group Kick It Out all refused to comment on the unfolding story. However, the Blues did confirm they had decided against holding a press conference on Tuesday to preview Wednesday night's Capital One Cup clash with the same opponents.

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