Chelsea expressed “regret,” but stopped short of apologizing to Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg after accusing him of racism in a case that was later dropped by the authorities.
The European champions also stressed that they would have no problem with Clattenburg refereeing their matches again.
Clattenburg was accused by Chelsea midfielder Ramires of saying “shut up, you monkey” to teammate John Obi Mikel during an Oct. 28 Premier League match against Manchester United, but the Football Association found that the referee had no case to answer.
Chelsea now concede that it was wrong to publicly allege that Clattenburg used “inappropriate language” in a statement issued within two hours of the match finishing.
In attempt to clear the air with Clattenburg, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck on Monday held a “constructive and open discussion” with him, other top-flight referees and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.
“The club regrets not having given more consideration before issuing a statement on the evening of Sunday 28th October,” Chelsea said in a joint statement with the Premier League and the referees’ body. “The club also regrets the subsequent impact the intense media scrutiny had on Mark Clattenburg and his family.”
However, the 16 top-flight referees, including Clattenburg, do accept that Chelsea “had an obligation under FA rules to report the allegation,” the statement said, after it was received in “good faith” from a player.
That paves the way for Clattenburg to referee Chelsea matches again.
“There was recognition by all parties that the impartiality and integrity of refereeing in this country remains paramount,” the statement said. “Chelsea FC made it clear they would welcome Mark Clattenburg back to Stamford Bridge in the future and [Professional Game Match Officials] would have no issue in appointing him to a Chelsea FC match going forward.”
Clattenburg was cleared of any racist behavior by the FA and police, but English soccer has been blighted with racism cases recently.
A man was arrested yesterday after former England and Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore, who is now a radio pundit, was allegedly racially abused on Twitter.
London police are investigating anti-Semitic chants by West Ham United fans at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and police in northeast England have launched an investigation after a racist gesture appeared to be aimed by a fan at West Bromwich Albion striker Romelu Lukaku during Saturday’s match at Sunderland.
In pictures that emerged on Tuesday, a fan appeared to make a monkey gesture at the Belgium international, who is black, after he scored West Brom’s third goal in a 4-2 win. Lukaku is on a season-long loan at West Brom from Premier League rivals Chelsea.
The incident comes less than a month after a Chelsea fan was banned from Stamford Bridge for making a monkey gesture in a match against Manchester United.
SCHEDULE CONFLICTS: While new dates have not been announced, somewhere around this year’s original dates would conflict with other major sports events next year The rescheduled Tokyo Olympics will require sacrifices and compromises by all involved, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said yesterday, before predicting the completion of “a beautiful jigsaw puzzle and wonderful Olympic Games.” “Our mission is to organize Games and make [the] dreams of athletes come true,” Bach said, adding that although the Olympics must be held before the end of summer next year, the as-yet-undecided dates would not necessarily be restricted to summer months. Japanese yesterday awoke to the deflating reality that the Olympics they had hoped to host in Tokyo this summer were now probably 16 months away. The IOC
From perfecting pizza dough to fermenting tea, rugby players in Europe have found various ways to pass their time during the lockdown forced on them by the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia international Scott Higginbotham, who plays for Bordeaux-Begles, has been busy in his kitchen during the confinement period, which started in France on March 17. “My wife and I take turns in going out, and doing a bit of exercise and a lot of cooking. Every meal is made from scratch,” Higginbotham told reporters last week. “I made my own pizza dough the other day, which was quite nice. I do love pizza,
While COVID-19 seeps daily into the consciousness of the White House, 1,900 kilometers away in Wichita, Kansas, a British tennis player is helping families who know poverty, but are yet to feel the full effects of the coronavirus. As Katie Swan waits for the Tour to resume — and for Wimbledon to decide whether or not to hold this year’s championships, scheduled to start on June 29 — she prepares part-time and turns the rest of her energies to helping disadvantaged people in her adopted city. The Bristol-born player has lived in Wichita for seven years with her mother, Nicki, her father,
BOARDROOM ACTION? Organizing committee head Yoshiro Mori said that some decisions could be made as early as this week when the executive board meets Tokyo Olympics organizers seem to be leaning away from starting the rescheduled Games in the spring of next year. The signs point toward the summer. Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori suggested that there would be no major change from the plans they had for this year. “The Games are meant to be in summer, so we should be thinking of a time between June and September,” Japanese news agency Kyodo reported Mori saying on Saturday. International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, after the postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic was announced in Switzerland on Tuesday last week, left open the possibility