Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Winter: Chelsea claims are serious

Jeff Winter stressed the seriousness of the allegations made against Mark Clattenburg, centre

Former referee Jeff Winter thinks Mark Clattenburg will not officiate a match again if it is proven that he racially abused a Chelsea player in Sunday's five-goal thriller at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea submitted a formal complaint to the Premier League on Sunday that alleged Clattenburg used "inappropriate language" towards two of their players during the Blues' 3-2 defeat to Manchester United in west London. The alleged comments are understood to have been interpreted as racist.

"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), has released a statement in which it said the referee has promised to co-operate with any investigation.

The Football Association are expected to receive the match delegate's report in which Chelsea have made the allegations on Monday.

"I feel it very unlikely that Mark Clattenburg would be allowed to referee until it's dealt with so we certainly don't want this going on for weeks and months," Winter added.

Winter also admitted that he found it ironic that this time it was a referee that has been accused of using inappropriate language given that officials are subjected to abuse from players and fans at almost every match.

He said: "Initially it is insulting words and I must admit I smiled at that because we watch football matches every week of the year hearing players use insulting words to referees and then somebody takes umbrage when somebody allegedly says something back. But I just hope this can be cleared.

"It's slightly ironic that players dish it out left right and centre and then, if and there is a massive if, if something has been said back - and we're not talking about racial here, we're talking about like for like - then I don't think anybody's got a right to complain.

"I'm not saying referees should do it, but there seems to be one law for one set of people and one law for another, but this inference that racial language has been used is very, very serious."

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