Cole quizzed in FA's Clattenburg probe

Martyn Ziegler

ASHLEY COLE has been interviewed as part of the English Football Association's investigation into allegations by Chelsea that referee Mark Clattenburg used inappropriate language towards their midfielder John Obi Mikel.

The FA have interviewed several Chelsea players, including Mikel, as well as Clattenburg, assistant referees Michael McDonough and Simon Long and fourth official Michael Jones.

It is understood England defender Cole was also among the Chelsea players interviewed by the FA.

Clattenburg will miss a fourth weekend of matches as Chelsea's complaint continues to hang over him.


The FA's investigation into Chelsea's allegation that Clattenburg used inappropriate language, understood to have been interpreted as racist, towards Mikel during a 3-2 defeat by Manchester United on October 28 is continuing and a decision is expected later this week. Clattenburg strenuously denies the allegations.

Clattenburg does not want to take charge of any matches while the case is ongoing and so was not considered for any of this weekend's games.

An independent QC is studying all the evidence in close detail before recommending a decision.

The sensitivities of the case, heightened by the fact it comes so soon after Chelsea skipper John Terry's four-match ban for racist abuse, means the FA is being cautious and ensuring that it has left no stone unturned in its investigation.

Clattenburg has been shocked after finding himself and his family targeted by paparazzi.