Referee Mark Clattenburg, who officiated the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United last Sunday, has been accused by Chelsea players of using racist language towards them. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has come to the official's defense stating that he simply does not believe the accusations leveled at him.
A police and FA investigation is under way into allegations that Clattenburg used racial language towards Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel. Chelsea has submitted a file of player's accounts into the FA that Clattenburg used inappropriate language towards the player that could be interpreted as racist. Ferguson does not believe these claims however, stating that referees would not stoop to that level.
"I don't believe Mark Clattenburg would make any comments like that," Ferguson said. "I refuse to believe it. I think it is unthinkable in the modern climate. I just don't believe it-simple as that. There is no way a referee would stoop to that, I am convinced of that. I have never heard a player come to me in the last 15 years and say a referee has sworn at them during a game, ever. So, that is where I stand. I don't believe it."
Ferguson has had his own disputes with refs in his years in management, ones that has seen the Scot suspended and fined for comments or allegations but maintains that he believes in the integrity of the match officials. Ferguson has pointed out that the game has changed considerably since he was a player and that the banter shared between player and referee has also changed.
Clattenburg has received the full backing of his fellow officials during the investigations. His assistant referees, Michael McDonough, Simon Long, and fourth official Michael Jones have said that they did not hear anything inappropriate on their headsets which are all linked together.
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