• Premier League

Clattenburg cleared but Southampton say issue is 'not over'

ESPN staff
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Mark Clattenburg is making the headlines again © Getty Images
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Southampton officials have claimed they "do not consider the case to be over" after the referees' governing body ruled that Mark Clattenburg has no case to answer after the club filed a complaint about his conduct towards Adam Lallana during the 2-1 defeat at Goodison Park last month.

Southampton accused Clattenburg of "abusing and insulting" captain Lallana after he had unsuccessfully appealed for a penalty when his cross appeared to strike Everton defender Antolin Alcaraz's hand inside the area.

The south coast club wrote to Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) on New Year's Eve to register their complaint.

The club claimed Clattenburg told Lallana: "You are very different now, since you've played for England - you never used to be like this."

After a review, PGMOL ruled that Clattenburg had no case to answer and that the referee, who takes charge of the FA Cup tie between Arsenal and Tottenham on Saturday, could continue to officiate as planned.

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The North London sides meet once again in the cup © Getty Images
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A statement said: "PGMOL is committed to constructive dialogue and communication with clubs, managers and players.

"On December 31, PGMOL received a letter from Southampton, who raised concerns about the conduct of Mark Clattenburg following their game with Everton.

"In a written response to Southampton, PGMOL acknowledge that their complaint has been considered in full.

"However, given the nature of the conversation with the player, having reviewed the footage and spoken to the team of officials as well as the Premier League Match Delegate it has been found that there is no case to answer."

But Southampton reacted with a statement of their own. It read: "An official insulting any player, no matter his intentions, is clearly not acceptable behaviour.

"For this reason we do not accept the verdict in relation to this case, and we do not consider the matter to be over.

"We do not feel it is appropriate for Mr Clattenburg to officiate any of our matches until this matter is resolved."

St Mary's boss Mauricio Pochettino was critical of Clattenburg's decision-making after the Everton game, saying his side should have been awarded not one but two spot-kicks.

He said: "I don't mean any disrespect against any referees, but anyone watching the game can see there were two clear penalties that weren't given or should have been given."

Pochettino said he believed his side's "young and friendly" image was costing them decisions in big games.

"We have been suffering all season long," he said. "Many injustices have gone against us. It is easier to referee a Southampton side that are all young, friendly players. It is very easy to have decisions not go for us. It is a lot easier to have decisions to go against us.

"We just want Southampton to be refereed with the same rigour as all other clubs are judged. We want the same treatment as all other clubs. Nothing better, nothing worse - just the same.

"We don't want to be judged by the young, handsome players that we have. We don't want to be judged in that sense. We want to be judged in the same manner, being judged by the same rigour, in the same way that all other clubs are."

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