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The referee Mark Clattenburg is understood to be confident that he will not face Football Association charges over the allegation of racial abuse against Chelsea's John Obi Mikel, on the day that the Metropolitan Police announced they were dropping their investigation into the incident.
The FA governance department is expected to make its decision this week on whether or not to charge Clattenburg having interviewed Chelsea players and Mikel over the alleged events of 28 October following the club's defeat in the Premier League to Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Clattenburg was interviewed by FA investigators last week accompanied by a representative of his trade union, Prospect, and maintained that he did not make a racial remark to Mikel. He has been left off this weekend's referees' list for the third consecutive week.
Mikel is understood not to have heard the alleged comment, which was relayed to him by team-mate Ramires.
In a statement yesterday the Metropolitan Police said: “Inquiries were made and no victims have come forward. The matter will remain as a recorded incident.”
The Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck told the Evening Standard yesterday that the club felt that they had no option but to act on the players' complaint. He said the decision to report Clattenburg “was made after a great deal of anguish and after talking long and hard that evening about what we should do. We were guided by obligations that are imposed by the Football Association and also as an employer.”
Any criminal case against Clattenburg would have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. The FA governance department work according to the civil standard which is on the balance of probability. – The Independent