Chelsea accuse Mark Clattenburg of making racial remark
Chelsea accused referee Mark Clattenburg of directing inappropriate language towards two of their players during yesterday acrimonious 3-2 defeat against Manchester United, with one complaint understood to relate to a comment of an alleged racial nature.
A formal complaint has been made to the Premier League's match delegate and will be forwarded to the Football Association, with the Professional Game Match Officials' Board (PGMO), the body who represent referees, now awaiting the reports from both Clattenburg and the match delegate.
It is understood that Chelsea will allege that one player, believed to be John-Obi Mikel, has complained that Clattenburg directed a comment of a racial nature at him during the game. The complaint of the other Chelsea player is understood to allege inappropriate language but not of a racial nature.
Mikel, who was booked for dissent during the game, is believed to have confronted Clattenburg in the referee's room after the game. Chelsea announced that they had made their complaint around two hours after the final whistle.
"We have lodged a complaint to the Premier League match delegate with regards to inappropriate language used by the referee and directed at two of our players in two separate incidents in today's match," said a Chelsea statement. "The match delegate will pass the complaint to the Football Association. We will make no further comment at this time." All officials have microphones during the game which allow them to speak freely to one another, meaning that assistant referees Michael McDonough and Simon Long, and fourth official Michael Jones, should have been able to hear all conversations between Clattenburg and the players.
Chelsea were also deeply unhappy with the refereeing performance yesterday of Clattenburg, with Di Matteo accusing him of "ruining" the game after sending off two of his players and then allowing Manchester United a winning goal that was clearly offside. The main controversy surrounded Fernando Torres's second booking, for a supposed dive, after there appeared to be slight contact with Jonny Evans, the Manchester United defender.
Di Matteo, his assistant first-team coach Steve Holland and goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon were embroiled in a furious touchline row with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson over the Torres dismissal.