Mark Clattenburg, English Premier League ref, has been suspended by the England Football Association after being accused by Chelsea of using “inappropriate language” towards two of their players in Sunday’s 3-2 win by Manchester United.
The players that have accused Clattenburg of using “inappropriate language” are Mikel John Obi and Juan Mata.
The Professional Game Match Officials union released a statement on Monday, stating “that with any football match the focus should not be on the officials but on the players and the game itself.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association took immediate action at the request of PFA head Gordon Taylor.
“This is extremely serious for the referee involved so that’s why it’s important that it is dealt with in the most thorough manner and as quickly, efficiently, and transparently as possible,” he said.
The referees’ union pledged to stand behind Clattenburg Monday, after the accusations by Chelsea that he directed racial slurs toward Mikel John Obi and Juan Mata.
“Prospect is committed to helping to eradicate racism in football and in society generally,” the trade union, said in a statement. “We will be making no further comment at this stage.”
Chelsea’s complaint against Clattenburg, could hinge on the evidence of the assistant referees who would have heard every exchange, according to Graham Poll who is an ex-referee.
“A referee’s microphone is open. Everything he says is heard by two assistants,” Poll told BBC 5 Radio live. “So if Mark said something, the assistants would have heard it.”
Clattenburg will not officiate a match again if the charges are proven true according to Jeff Winter, who is a former Premier League referee.
“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,” Winter said.
Chelsea and Mikel’s agent did not comment on Monday, but the club confirmed that they decided not to hold a press conference Tuesday to preview the Capital One Cup clash on Wednesday against United.