Chelsea midfielder has 'no problem' being refereed by Clattenburg again

Fri, Dec 14, 2012, 00:00

Mikel John Obi has insisted he would have “no problem” playing in a game refereed by Mark Clattenburg in future but the Chelsea midfielder stressed that the broader issue of racism still needs to be tackled in football.

The FA determined that no charges would be brought against Clattenburg after investigating a claim by Mikel’s team-mate, Ramires, that he had heard the official describe the midfielder as “a monkey” during the loss to Manchester United. While Ramires stands by his testimony, Chelsea subsequently expressed regret over their handling of aspects of the formal complaint lodged to the FA and the Premier League.

“I think now it is done. I am glad it is over,” said Mikel. “I am sure he is glad it is over as well . . . [The issue of racism] is just one of those things in football . . . hopefully everyone will work together – the players and the FA – to make sure we try to stop things like that.”

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck had met Clattenburg to discuss the issue with the 16 elite referees, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited chief Mike Riley and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore. He had stressed that the club would have no problem if the official took charge of a match involving Chelsea in future, with Mikel now saying likewise.

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