Sport

Police drop Clattenburg 'racism' complaint

Julian Guyer

British police have said they have no plans to continue inquiries into a complaint regarding alleged racist comments by referee Mark Clattenburg.

British police have said they have no plans to continue enquiries into a complaint regarding alleged racist comments by referee Mark Clattenburg.

The Society of Black Lawyers reported Clattenburg to London's Metropolitan Police after Chelsea complained to the Football Association (FA) the referee used a term understood to have been interpreted as racist towards John Obi Mikel during the 3-2 Premier League defeat by Manchester United on October 28.

While the separate FA enquiry is continuing, a police statement said on Tuesday, from their perspective, "the matter cannot currently be investigated".

"An investigation was launched into alleged comments made during a football match between Chelsea FC and Manchester United FC at Stamford Bridge on 28 October 2012," it said.

"This follows on from a complaint received by the Metropolitan Police Service on October 29.

"Enquiries were made and no victims have come forward. The matter will remain as a recorded incident.

"Without a victim and/or any evidence that any offence has been committed, the matter cannot currently be investigated."

However, the statement added police could look again at the incident.

"If the situation changes and a victim and/or evidence to support an allegation of a crime comes to police attention then further inquiries will if appropriate be made," it read.

Chelsea 'not hypocrites'
Before the police made their announcement, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck gave an interview to Tuesday's London Evening Standard where he insisted the European champions were not hypocrites for backing captain John Terry while lodging a complaint against Clattenburg.

Buck said the London club had a "duty of care" in supporting Terry, who recently completed a four-game domestic ban for racially abusing Queen's Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in a match last year.

Meanwhile Buck said Chelsea would have been "crucified" if they had not reported the allegations concerning Clattenburg.

"Suppose we had tried to sweep this under the rug and said to the various players, 'Look, it's not a big deal and the press are going to be all over us, maybe you want to reconsider'.

"If that had leaked out, we would've really been crucified," added Buck.

Meanwhile Buck refuted oft repeated suggestions that Terry, involved in a number of high-profile incidents, 'ran' things at Stamford Bridge rather more effectively than the club's Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.

"Chelsea are not run by John Terry," Buck said. "I don't know how I can prove it to you but it's not true. My club is run by Roman Abramovich."

It was announced on Monday that Clattenburg would miss another round of Premier League matches – the third successive weekend since Chelsea made their complaint that football chiefs have felt it best to keep the 37-year-old official out of the firing line.

Reports in the British press indicated the FA's enquiries into his alleged comments to Mikel could be concluded by the end of this week. – Sapa-AFP

 

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