It took 24 days for the FA to clear Mark Clattenburg of any charges made against him. It took that long because it were accusations of racial nature which have to be taken seriously but have become inflationary in recent months. I personally think that there is the strong need to bring every real case of racial abuse to public attention but it shouldn’t become a witch-hunt on someone who did nothing wrong. The only thing Mark Clattenburg was doing wrong in the game in question was officiating Chelsea losing at home.

Perhaps Ramires really thought he did hear Clattenburg was calling Mikel to ‘shut up you monkey’. But as the investigations made it clear that Mikel was far nearer to Clattenburg than Ramires but Mikel heard nothing makes me wonder why it took that long to drop the case. My theory is that Clattenburg just said to Mikel ‘shut up, Mikel’ and perhaps that really happened.

But, if Ramires indeed misheard it as abuse first Chelsea was right to bring the accusation forward. What isn’t right and was really disgusting is that several Chelsea players and staff went to the referee’s dressing room after the game to threaten and abuse Clattenburg there. If you think you have a case bring it forward but it’s not the times of the Old Testament with eye for eye, tooth for tooth. So Mikel was rightly charged for misconduct and will be probably handed a three-match-ban.

As for me I couldn’t believe from the start both that Clattenburg was racist and would use such vocabulary. So I was mostly relieved yesterday when I read that he was cleared and his statement:

“I am looking forward to putting this behind me and concentrating on refereeing in the Premier League and other competitions. I am extremely grateful for the invaluable support of my family, my Select Group colleagues, the management of Professional Game Match Officials Limited and our union Prospect. The messages of encouragement from those inside and outside of the game have helped me through the most stressful time of my professional life. To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening.

Racism has no place in football and this experience should not discourage those to speak out if they genuinely believe they are a victim of abuse. However, there are processes that should be adhered in order that any investigation can be carried out in a manner that is fair for all parties involved. I know first hand the ramifications of allegations of this nature being placed into the public domain ahead of a formal process and investigation.

I hope no referee has to go through this in the future. We are all fortunate to be working in the world’s most-watched and scrutinised football league. With that comes a responsibility in regard to how the different parts of the game work together. What has happened over the last few weeks should not overshadow the fact the on-pitch relationship between match officials, players and managers is the best we’ve ever known it. We are proud of the integrity of refereeing in this country and I cannot wait to be back involved in the game I care so passionately about.”
source: BBC Sport

But what I still miss is an apology from Chelsea who have only written in their own statement that they accept the outcome of the investigation. They also believe that they took the right decision to have brought the case that was nothing to attention. Yes, as I’ve mentioned before I also think that it was right to do that but if the one who you accuse is cleared you need to apologize for wrong accusation. It doesn’t hurt really and it would make you the public believing that you know what’s the right thing to do.

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