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Friday, November 23, 2012
No Chelsea apology for Clattenburg

Kevin Palmer and ESPN staff

Chelsea have suggested they will not be offering an apology to referee Mark Clattenburg after he was cleared of using racist language towards John Obi Mikel.

Clattenburg will return to action as fourth official for Spurs versus West Ham on Sunday and will then referee Southampton v Norwich on Wednesday.

Both Clattenburg and Professional Referees' Union spokesman Alan Leighton have criticised Chelsea's decision to go public with their complaint, with the club briefing the press room little over an hour after the game against Manchester United on October 28.

Chelsea's decision to go to the press created a media storm and left Clattenburg's reputation in tatters, even though he has now been told there is no case to answer after there was found to be no evidence to back up Ramires' claims.

However, when asked if Chelsea would be offering the official a full apology, Chelsea spokesman Steve Adkins said: "We are pleased that the FA recognise the claim lodged by Ramires was done in good faith. They also recognise that Chelsea FC did what was expected on that occasion. We now hope everyone returns to playing football and refereeing without prejudice. We will not be adding to our statement."

Leighton, Prospect's national secretary, said: "Mark Clattenburg deserves a full and unreserved apology from Chelsea. He deserves compensation for loss of earnings, damage to his reputation and stress. In addition, Chelsea should make a sizeable donation to Show Racism the Red Card and Kick It Out to help the fight against racism in football and beyond.

"This was a charge brought on the flimsiest of evidence that should never have got to this stage.''

Mike Riley, general manager of the referees' body, does not believe the referee will look to take any action against Chelsea and just wants to get back in the middle.

"Mark's main interest is to return to refereeing as quickly as possible. His dream is to go to Brazil in 2014 and that's what he is working towards," Riley told Sky Sports News. "In terms of whether Chelsea should apologise, my view is that I hope Chelsea will do the right thing. They have to look at everything that went on, evaluate that and then take the right decisions.

"I have to admire the way Mark has conducted himself throughout this. From the first day, his sole aim was to clear his name and come back to refereeing. You could argue there are lots of avenues open to him but he does not want to pursue any of those.

"What he wants is to go out on Tuesday, Wednesday, next weekend, with a whistle in his hand and referee a game of football."




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