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The FA charges Chelsea’s Mikel

CHARGED: The shoe is now on the other foot as Mikel faces allegations

JON OBI Mikel faces charges brought by the FA after its preliminary investigation into the alleged incident of racial abuse by referee Mark Clattenburg during a Premier League game on October 28 at Stamford Bridge.

Clattenburg, 37, has been cleared of the allegations of using “inappropriate language”, and the fresh charges bring new controversy to the west London club, which has experienced a chaotic week having changed managers in the space of two days.

In an online statement, the FA commented: “Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel has been charged by The FA for an alleged breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to his side’s game against Manchester United on 28 October 2012.

“It is alleged that in or around the Match Officials’ changing room at the end of the fixture, Mikel used threatening and/or abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour.

“The player has until Friday 30 November 2012 to respond to the charge.”

The news, however, will be of great relief to the County Durham-based official, who has always maintained his innocence.

Clattenburg, having missed four weekends of league action, said: "I am looking forward to putting this behind me and concentrating on refereeing in the Premier League and other competitions.

“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 but there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening.

"However, there are processes that should be adhered to 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”, the referee added.

In response to the FA’s announcement, a Chelsea statement read: “Chelsea Football Club accepts the Football Association's decision regarding Mark Clattenburg and welcomes the fact that the FA recognises the club and players were correct in reporting the matter.

“The club accepts the case is now concluded and notes the FA states the allegation was made in good faith.

“Chelsea FC has a duty of care, as do all employers, to act responsibly when such allegations are reported by employees.

“We did not take the decision to lodge a formal complaint with the FA lightly and followed the correct processes and protocols throughout.”

It is understood Clattenburg is seeking an apology and compensation from the club.

Last week, the Metropolitan Police dropped its investigation into the incident due to no victims coming forward to make a complaint, something which drew heavy criticism from chair of the Society of Black Lawyers, Peter Herbert, who branded the FA “institutionally racist”, and criticised Chelsea.

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