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Chelsea regret rushing to accuse Clattenburg

ESPN staff
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Mark Clattenburg was accused of racially abusing John Obi Mikel, but was cleared after police and FA investigations © Getty Images
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Chelsea have issued a joint-statement with the Premier League and Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) in which they have expressed their regret at the damage caused to referee Mark Clattenburg by their complaint against him.

The club also admit they should have shown more consideration before issuing a statement regarding the events of Sunday, October 28.

Clattenburg was accused by Chelsea of using inappropriate language towards midfielder John Obi Mikel during the 3-2 league defeat to Manchester United, something he was later cleared of by an FA investigation.

Chelsea were represented in the meeting by chairman Bruce Buck, while Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore and PGMOL were general manager Mike Riley were also present.

The statement 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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