7th December, 2012
Referees’ chiefs have blasted John Mikel Obi’s three-match ban for his dressing-room row with Mark Clattenburg as ‘sending out the wrong message’.
FA chiefs also fined the Chelsea midfielder £60,000 — but insisted he escaped a massive suspension because he genuinely believed ref Clattenburg had racially abused him during October’s 3-2 defeat by Manchester United.
Referees’ trade union Prospect was dismayed at the “leniency” of the punishment. A spokesman said: “It is vital that officials were given real respect and this decision regrettably gave entirely the wrong message.
“A player in parks football found guilty of behaviour like Mikel’s would have faced a long ban.”
Clattenburg was cleared by the police and the FA — but Mikel, 25, told a commission he only acted as he thought he had been branded a ‘monkey’.