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Chelsea Finally Publicly Addresses Racial Allegations

Chelsea finally addressed the racial abuse allegations against referee Mark Clattenburg on Tuesday, insisting there was no misinterpretation that players heard Clattenburg use the word “monkey” during a Premier League match against Manchester United.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck opted to end the public silence despite an ongoing investigation by the English Football Association.

Buck said he had an obligation to report the allegations after black midfielders John Obi Mikel and Ramires said they heard the derogatory word used.

“Suppose we had tried to sweep this under the rug and said to the various players, `Look, it’s not a big deal and the press are going to be all over us, maybe you want to reconsider,”‘ Buck said in an interview with the London Evening Standard. “If that had leaked out, we would’ve really been crucified.”

Chelsea has received quite a bit of criticism filing a complaint with the EFA while still backing captain John Terry, who served a four-match ban for using racially offensive remarks to Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand last year.

Buck attempted to point the finger at the press for trying to tie both incidents together in similarity.

“The press seem to juxtapose `our support’ of John Terry and what’s going on here, and looking at us as being a bit hypocritical,” Buck said. “We have to divorce the John Terry situation from this. From our perspective, the latest situation was pretty straightforward.”

Buck feels that the reaction that the club has received has been “very unfair” and they were not interested in any type of retaliation against Clattenburg or anyone else.

Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager, has been pretty straightforward in criticizing the complaint against Clattenburg. He doesn’t believe the allegations made by Chelsea. United went on to win the match 3-2 with a goal from Javier Hernandez after Chelsea dup Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres had been sent off.

Buck remains firm that the allegations are not false, despite suggestions that the players may have misheard Clattenburg.

“I spoke to the players involved, either because they were allegedly the recipient of that abuse or had heard it, three separate times,” the American lawyer said. “I asked them if they could be mistaken. I asked them if they might have heard `Mikel’ instead of `monkey.’ I thought I had covered that base.”

Clattenburg has yet to publicly respond to the allegations, but can rest a little easier knowing that he is no longer being investigated by the police due to lack of evidence. The Society of Black Lawyers sparked the probe by the Metropolitan Police, but neither Chelsea nor their players approached the police.

Clattenburg resumed training Monday with other topflight officials, but has not refereed since the accusations.

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