Belfast Telegraph

Laudrup: Referee saga needs dealing

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup believes the Mark Clattenburg affair has been allowed to drag on for too long.

Chelsea on Wednesday night lodged a formal complaint with the Football Association, alleging referee Clattenburg had used "inappropriate language" towards Blues' midfielder John Obi Mikel during Sunday's 3-2 Premier League defeat to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Laudrup's Swansea side are Chelsea's next opponents as they prepare for Saturday's meeting at the Liberty Stadium and the Dane said: "I really don't know any more about it than what I read in the papers and we need to wait and see what comes out of this. If something has happened then they have to deal with it."

Clattenburg, who denies the allegation, has been accused of using a term which has been interpreted as racist, and the claims are also being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.

Laudrup said: "The problem is we have let it go on too many days so there are too many times to talk about it. It happened Sunday, now it's Thursday and you are asking me about it. It goes on and on and then people will ask on Saturday and Sunday, let's get things on the table and deal with it."

Laudrup added he has no problem with referees responding to on-field criticism from players, but believes the time has come for officials to be recorded to avoid a repeat of the current situation.

"If as a player or a manger I am angry because I should have had a penalty or a free-kick then the (the referee) is allowed to say something back, but obviously there is a limit and there are things you cannot say and the ones in charge have to deal with it," he said.

"They are mic'd up so it should be easy, but they don't record it? That will be the next thing, a recording, but if I had one on the bench or people in the stand had one... sometimes you say things you do not mean, but there is a limit obviously and there are things you cannot say even if you are 180."

Laudrup and Swansea will face the European champions buoyed by their 3-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday night, which put them through to the quarter-finals of the League Cup for the first time in their history.

One injury doubt to emerge from that game is defender Chico Flores, who went off early in the second half holding his thigh, and Laudrup said: "I hope his dead leg heals in short time, he is a very important player for us. He is doubtful, but I know Chico and he wants to be on the field every second of every game."


From Belfast Telegraph