CHELSEA have admitted that they do not have sufficient evidence to pursue one of their original two claims against referee Mark Clattenburg -- but they stand by the allegation that the referee racially abused the midfielder John Obi Mikel during Sunday's Premier League defeat by Manchester United.
In the hours before they beat United 5-4 at home in the League Cup fourth round last night, Chelsea announced that the second complaint against Clattenburg, which centred upon what Chelsea players initially thought he had said to Juan Mata, was dropped after an internal investigation.
The independent legal counsel, concluded that there was not, in Chelsea's words, "sufficient evidence" to support it.
Roberto di Matteo, the Chelsea manager, said last night that he expected referees to treat his team "fairly" despite their serious allegations against Clattenburg.
Di Matteo said: "It's incredible to think we have two players sent off in one game again.
"If I remember rightly one of our sending offs at QPR (last year) was correct and one was probably incorrect.
"And on Sunday (against United in the league) the first one was harsh but probably correct and the other was 100 per cent not correct.
"It's incredible it always hits Chelsea Football Club -- maybe that's something we need to think about."
"We would just like to be treated fairly by everybody.
"Nobody is talking about the handball in the second half when we should have had a penalty.
"You have just mentioned two situations (last year against QPR and on Sunday against United) when certainly it wasn't fair, the way we were treated."
On Sunday, Chelsea complained to the match delegate, Nick Cusack, about Clattenburg on two counts.
Yesterday's complaint was made directly to the Football Association, who are responsible for disciplinary matters in the English game and have already started an investigation into the incidents of Sunday's match.