Both the police and the FA are investigating allegations that referee Clattenburg used ‘inappropriate language’ towards Blues midfielder John Obi Mikel during Sunday’s controversial clash at Stamford Bridge.
However, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has hit out at those claims, insisting he is convinced it is ‘unthinkable’ that Clattenburg would make such remarks towards a player. Fergie is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying:
‘I don’t believe Mark Clattenburg would make any comment like that,’ said Ferguson.
‘I think it’s unthinkable. It’s unthinkable in the modern climate. I just don’t believe it.
‘There’s no way a referee would stoop that low. I’m convinced of that.
‘If you look at the modern game compared to 25 years ago it’s completely changed. I know the banter between players and referees 25 years ago is completely different.
‘I have never heard a player come to me in the last 15 years and say a referee has sworn at them during a game, ever.
‘This is where I stand on this issue with Mark Clattenburg. I just don’t believe it.’
Ferguson’s side came out on top on the day, winning 3-2 thanks to a controversial winner from Javier Hernandez, who’s goal was allowed to stand despite replays showing he was in an offside position.
Clattenburg is expected to be backed by assistant referees Michael McDonough and Simon Long, as well as fourth official Michael Jones, who insist they didn’t hear anything untoward on their linked headsets during the game and are prepared to testify to this.
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