Referees' union accepts Chelsea 'apology'

Mark Clattenburg has been cleared of racially abusing Chelsea's Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel in late October

Story highlights

  • Referees' union Prospect accepts Chelsea statement as 'apology' to referee Mark Clattenburg
  • European champions issue statement outlining 'regrets' over allegations made against the 37-year-old
  • Prospect also drops compensation claims against the Premier League club

Referees' union Prospect says it considers the statement issued by Chelsea regretting its allegations of racial abuse against match official Mark Clattenburg 'as an apology'.

In a joint statement with referees' body Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) and the Premier League, the European champions regretted 'not having given more consideration before issuing a statement' on 28 October accusing the referee or racism.

Last week, England's Football Association said there was 'no case to answer' over allegations that Clattenburg, 37, had racially abused Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel during Chelsea's 3-2 home defeat by Manchester United.

This followed a decision by police earlier this month to end their inquiries into the incident because of a lack of evidence.

Read: Clattenburg to face no action over racism complaint

"The use of the word "regrets" in relation to the swift issue of the club's statement publicizing the allegation ... and in relation to the impact on Mark and his family, were tantamount to and accepted by Mark and the group as an apology'," said Prospect in a statement.

Peter Cech: Refs need to be more open
Peter Cech: Refs need to be more open

    JUST WATCHED

    Peter Cech: Refs need to be more open

MUST WATCH

Peter Cech: Refs need to be more open 01:19
PLAY VIDEO
Ronaldo's best ever goal?
Ronaldo's best ever goal?

    JUST WATCHED

    Ronaldo's best ever goal?

MUST WATCH

Ronaldo's best ever goal? 03:02
PLAY VIDEO

The union also revealed that it has now dropped its demand for Chelsea to pay compensation in light of the statement released on Tuesday.

"The club regrets not having given more consideration before issuing a statement on the evening of Sunday 28th October," it read.

"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.

"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.

"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."

A day in the life of Cristiano Ronaldo
A day in the life of Cristiano Ronaldo

    JUST WATCHED

    A day in the life of Cristiano Ronaldo

MUST WATCH

A day in the life of Cristiano Ronaldo 00:58
PLAY VIDEO
Mourinho: John Terry is not a racist
Mourinho: John Terry is not a racist

    JUST WATCHED

    Mourinho: John Terry is not a racist

MUST WATCH

Mourinho: John Terry is not a racist 01:32
PLAY VIDEO

The statement followed a meeting on Monday that included Clattenburg, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, PGMOL general manager Mike Riley and Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.

The accusations arose after Chelsea midfielder Ramires claimed that the referee, who missed four weekends of Premier League matches while the FA investigated the allegations, had used racial language towards Mikel.

After being cleared by the FA last week, Clattenburg issued a statement of his own, saying: "To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening."

Chelsea's allegations against Clattenburg came shortly after their captain John Terry had received a four-game ban following his racial abuse of Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League game last year.

On Wednesday, the referee will take charge of Southampton against Norwich City as Clattenburg returns to officiating a Premier League game for the first time since the allegations arose.

        Football Focus

      • French football great bids adieu

        After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
      • Mario's 'Queen' tweet tops 2014 list

        He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
      • bpr south african soccor senzo meyiwa death _00000402.jpg

        Loss of a South African 'icon'

        Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
      • German alleged jihadist Kreshnik B (R) listens to his lawyer Mutlu Guenal (L) as he arrives at the higher regional court in Frankfurt. His face is pixelated for legal reasons.

        From Jewish football to ISIS suspect

        Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
      • Where has 'Super' Mario gone?

        One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
      • Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.

        Should rapist return to work?

        Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
      • Teen, 15, makes Euro history

        Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.