Clattenburg to ref Arsenal, Spurs game

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Referee Mark Clattenburg will take charge of Saturday's FA Cup third round tie between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at The Emirates stadium despite Southampton's continuing complaint about his conduct. Photo by Shaun Botterill

London - Referee Mark Clattenburg will take charge of Saturday's FA Cup third round tie between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at The Emirates stadium despite Southampton's continuing complaint about his conduct.

Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the body which supplies match officials to the Premier League, said on Friday that Clattenburg had no case to answer despite Southampton's claims he “insulted” their captain Adam Lallana during the club's 2-1 defeat at Everton on Sunday.

“PGMOL is committed to constructive dialogue and communication with clubs, managers and players,” a statement said. “On 31st December PGMOL received a letter from Southampton who raised concerns about the conduct of Mark Clattenburg following their game with Everton on 29th December.

“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.

“Mark has the full support of PGMOL Management and will be considered for selection for all and any matches going forward in the usual way.”

Southampton, however, issued a statement on Friday saying they did not consider that the situation had been resolved.

“An official insulting any player, no matter his intentions, is clearly not acceptable behaviour,” the club said on Friday.

“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.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he would have “no problem” with Clattenburg being in charge of Saturday's London derby.

“I'll be disappointed if he isn't referee. As long as you're not judged guilty, you're innocent,” Wenger told a news conference.

Clattenburg was cleared by the FA two years ago after being accused by Chelsea of using “inappropriate language” towards Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel. – Reuters


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