“I almost quit football because of Mikel Obi’s accusations” — Former Refree Mark Clattenburg
Mark Clattenburg, the former Premier League referee, has stated that claims levelled by former Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi nearly drove him to resign.
Clattenburg was accused of racially abusing the Nigerian footballer in 2012.
This came after a 3-2 loss at Stamford Bridge to Manchester United.
Clattenburg had already dismissed two Chelsea players, Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres, and the referees had failed to spot an offside for United’s winning goal.
In his new autobiography, Whistle-Blower, he wrote: “Chelsea made a formal complaint to the FA three days after the game. They were saying I had racially abused Mikel and for the first time, I was made aware of the specifics of their accusation, which was also leaked to the press.
“According to Chelsea, I had said to Mikel, ‘Shut up, you monkey.’ The language disgusted me, it was damaging and fictitious.
“Twenty-five days after the game, the FA dismissed the case. I was not guilty, something I had known all along.”