Chelsea regret racism charges
28 November 2012, 10:47
London - Chelsea on Tuesday expressed their "regrets" over the way they complained of racist abuse by referee Mark Clattenburg.
The European champions, in a joint statement with referees' body Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) and the English Premier League, admitted they should have "given more consideration" before making their allegation public.
Last week the Football Association (FA) decided to take no disciplinary action whatsoever against Clattenburg following an investigation into Chelsea's allegation he used "inappropriate language" against midfielder John Obi Mikel.
That followed an earlier decision by police to end their enquiries into the incident due to a lack of evidence.
Chelsea said they "would welcome Mark Clattenburg back to Stamford Bridge in the future and PGMOL would have no issue in appointing him to a Chelsea FC match going forward".
The London club also said it regretted the "intense media scrutiny" Clattenburg had faced as a result of their allegations.
Last week the FA said there was "no case to answer" over allegations Clattenburg said "shut up you monkey" to the Nigeria midfielder during Chelsea's 3-2 Premier League defeat by Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 28.
Tuesday's statement followed a meeting Monday that included Clattenburg, the remaining Select Group referees, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, PGMOL general manager Mike Riley and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.
It read: "Following the completion of the investigation by the FA into the case involving Chelsea FC and Mark Clattenburg, the Premier League and Chelsea FC requested, and PGMOL agreed, to meet in order to discuss the issues surrounding the reporting of the allegation.
"The Select Group appreciated the opportunity to speak to Bruce Buck personally. His willingness to engage and answer all the questions put to him was welcomed.
"There was a constructive and open discussion. The club regrets not having given more consideration before issuing a statement on the evening of Sunday 28th October.
"The club also regrets the subsequent impact the intense media scrutiny had on Mark Clattenburg and his family.
"The referees accept that, given Chelsea FC had received a good faith claim from one of their employees, the club had an obligation under FA rules to report the allegation.
"There was recognition by all parties that the impartiality and integrity of refereeing in this country remains paramount.
"Chelsea FC made it clear they would welcome Mark Clattenburg back to Stamford Bridge in the future and PGMOL would have no issue in appointing him to a Chelsea FC match going forward.
"It was a thoroughly professional meeting. All parties now believe it is time to draw a line under this incident, learn from it and move on for the good of all Premier League clubs, players and match officials."
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