Sunday, December 9, 2012

Why Mikel was banned for abusing Clattenburg

Obi Mikel had been given a three-match ban and a hefty 60 000 pounds fine after admitting a charge of using threatening or abusive language towards referee Mark Clattenburg after the forgettable home defeat by Manchester United in October.
The FA’s Independent Regulatory Commission had found Mikel guilty of the charges relating to an off-the-pitch incident in the official’s changing room. The subsequent riposte was due to the Club’s complaints immediately after the controversial defeat of Clattenburg using “inappropriate language” to two of their players, one of whom was the usually stolid Mikel.
After the FA launched their investigation regarding these allegations Clattenburg was relieved of his official duties in the interim before a decision was to be reached. In fact, Mikel’s ban would have been longer, had it not been for the player’s convictions of legitimate racial abuse suffered on the pitch.
The FA thus stated that:
“The breach of FA Rule E3 was in relation to an incident which occurred in the match official’s changing room at the end of the fixture against Manchester United on 28 October 2012”
“The Regulatory Commission’s independent chairman Christopher Quinlan emphasized that the Independent Regulatory Commission accepted, as did the FA, that at the time he threatened the referee the player genuinely believed that the referee had racially abused.
“But for that factor the suspension would have been significantly longer.”
The evidence for the accusation against Clattenburg had come from team mate Ramires.
The FA then stated that:
“The details of the allegation were that following one or the other of the red cards issued during the second half of the game, Ramires heard Mark Clattenburg say to John Obi Mikel, “shut up you monkey.” John Obi Mikel did not hear the alleged comment.
The added:
“Ramires, whose first language is not English, explained that his instinctive reaction was to seek confirmation from John Obi Mikel as to what the referee had said.”
“John Obi Mikel, who was being spoken to by the referee, was much closer to the referee than Ramires and did not hear what it is suggested was said to him.”
The club had recently issued a statement expressing regret over their inappropriate handling of the allegations. Mikel will be missing the next three games but will be participating in the Club World Cup in Japan. Was this football travesty a consequence of sour grapes perhaps?

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