Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has been given a three-match ban and
a 60,000 pounds fine after admitting a charge of using
threatening or abusive language towards referee Mark Clattenburg after
a home defeat by Manchester United in October.
Football Association said on Thursday its Independent Regulatory
Commission had found Mikel guilty of the charges relating to an
incident in the official's changing room.
had complained immediately after the controversial defeat about
Clattenburg using "inappropriate language" to two of their players, one
of whom was Nigerian Mikel.
FA launched an investigation into the allegations of racist language
and Clattenburg was subsequently stood down from his refereeing duties
before they decided that the official had no case to answer.
ban would have been longer, the FA said in a statement, had it not been
for the player's genuine belief that he had been racially abused.
breach of FA Rule E3 was in relation to an incident which occurred in
the match official's changing room at the end of Chelsea's fixture
against Manchester United on 28 October 2012," the FA statement said.
Regulatory Commission's independent chairman Christopher Quinlan QC
emphasised that the Independent Regulatory Commission accepted, as did
The FA, that at the time he threatened the referee the player genuinely
believed that the referee had racially abused him.
"But for that factor the suspension would have been significantly longer."
November the FA said the evidence for the accusation against
Clattenburg had come from Mikel's Brazilian team-mate Ramires. In
clearing Clattenburg, the FA said:
details of the allegation were that following one or the other of the
red cards issued during the second half of the game, Ramires heard Mark
Clattenburg say to John Obi Mikel, "shut up you monkey". John Obi Mikel
did not hear the alleged comment.
whose first language is not English, explained that his instinctive
reaction was to seek confirmation from John Obi Mikel as to what the
referee had said.
Mikel, who was being spoken to by the referee, was much closer to the
referee than Ramires and did not hear what it is suggested was said to
Clattenburg has now returned to his duties and Chelsea last month
issued a statement expressing regret over their handling of the
Mikel will miss
Premier League matches against Sunderland and Aston Villa as well as
the League Cup tie against Leeds United but the ban will not effect his
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