The refereeing in Sunday's match against Manchester United was terrible, but that fact may be lost in the wake of reports that Mark Clattenburg racially abused John Obi Mikel.
Earlier on Sunday, Chelsea lodged a complaint about referee Mark Clattenburg abusing a pair of Chelsea players during their match against Manchester United. Their have been rumblings that the language in question had racial implications, something that would be a severe black eye for the game. Oliver Kay had a bit from the PGMO and about Clattenburg's cooperation into the forthcoming investigation, a story which I'm sure will be enveloping the club for the foreseeable future.
PGMO (who look after match officials etc) say allegations made by Chelsea against Clattenburg "being treated with the utmost seriousness"— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) October 28, 2012
As for Clattenburg, accused of "inappropriate language," he'll cooperate fully & "welcomes the opportunity for the facts to be established"— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) October 28, 2012
As was the case with John Terry, we should all let the facts come out before jumping to any conclusions here. If true, this is certainly a major problem for the FA to deal with, but at this point we don't even know what he allegedly said. With Chelsea having so many players for whom English is not the primary language, there is an awful lot of room for misunderstanding. Clattenburg needs to be given the same innocent until proven guilty treatment that our captain received.
With that said, the FA needs to make it a point to never assign Mark Clattenburg to a Chelsea match again. After these reported accusations, there is just no way that the man can reasonably be expected to be impartial in a match involving the Blues. There are plenty of other referees out there, and it is probably best if those officials are the ones given future Chelsea assignments. Innocent or guilty, it's probably best for everyone involved.
Wasn't it nice when Chelsea didn't have any sort of off the pitch controversy to deal with? Those 3 days sure were fun.