Enter the Mark Clattenburg Saga

A match filled with controversy just became even more of a focal point with accusations that Sunday’s referee, Mark Clattenburg, uttered racial slurs at John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata.

The official statement by Chelsea spokesman Steve Atkins said:

“We have lodged a complaint to the Premier League match delegate with regards to inappropriate language used by the referee and directed at two of our players in two separate incidents in today’s match.”

According to various sources, Clattenburg allegedly called Mikel a “monkey” and Mata a “Spanish t**t.” Immediately after the game, Mikel lodged a complaint about the language the referee used.

If we take a step back and look at the two players that lodged complaints, it’s really hard to believe that they would make these things up. Mikel is one of the shyest players on Chelsea and rarely says anything while Mata is a complete class act. It would be different if maybe Terry or Cole made these claims but Mikel and Mata are possibly the two least likely to ever speak out.

The irony is that these claims are made as our captain sits out the second game of his four game match ban for alleged racist remarks toward the brother of one of the players that played in the match. This all happened while the FA is trying to support the “Kick Racism Out of Football” campaign.

What’s next in the saga? Will it be dragged out for months like the John Terry case and what will be the final verdict? This situation is unique because it was a match official rather than a player that has been accused.

For those who are unaware, the referees wear mics to communicate with the other officials in the game, so if something was said, it is likely that the other officials would have heard those remarks. Anything from this point is possible.

As Chelsea supporters, we’ve had our fair share of refereeing villains, including Howard Webb, Chris Foy and (still the biggest cheat of all-time) Tom Henning Ovrebo. It’s entirely possible that Mark Clattenburg not only equaled their level of ineptitude but successfully surpassed all of them as Chelsea’s biggest villain. No matter how badly he called the match, though, it would still be overshadowed were the referee to be found guilty of racism.

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