Refs mull Chelsea boycott

2012-11-03 14:08

London - Several English Premier League referees are debating over whether to boycott matches involving Chelsea in the wake of the club alleging fellow referee Mark Clattenburg made racist remarks in last Sunday's game with Manchester United according to former referee Clive Wilkes.

Clattenburg, 37, is the subject of investigations by both the police and the English Football Association over claims by Chelsea he used 'inappropriate language' including a racial slur aimed at their Nigerian midfielder Jon Obi Mikel.

Clattenburg maintains his innocence on all matters.

Wilkes told the Sun newspaper he had been in touch with some of his former colleagues and they had told him they were considering boycotting Chelsea games - especially as in their eyes it is not the first time the club have levelled accusations at one of their number.

"I keep in touch with a lot of the lads and there is such a strength of feeling about what is happening to Mark," he said.

"I know a few referees who are even talking about boycotting Chelsea games because of all this.

"Remember, it's not the first time Chelsea have targeted a referee - there's been Anders Frisk and Graham Poll.

"And some refs are now saying enough is enough. It's no exaggeration to say the refs in this country have never felt lower."

Wilkes added that the referees felt they were not receiving the support they deserved from above.

"They are so disillusioned. They feel vulnerable, feel that they are being left isolated - that they are getting no backing, no support," he said.

"They want to speak out themselves but are too frightened, they fear they will be sacked if they go public with their grievances.

"There have even been murmurings about strike action but that's very much the last resort.

"They'd much prefer to get around the table with the FA, PFA, the clubs and players to sort this out as quickly as possible."

Clattenburg, who has been stood down for this weekend's games, has received notable support this week from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Manchester United's Alex Ferguson.

"I don't believe Mark Clattenburg would make any comments like that," Ferguson said Friday. "I refuse to believe it. I think it's unthinkable.

"In the modern climate, I just don't believe it. Simple as that. There is no way a referee would stoop to that, I'm convinced about that."


  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-11-03 14:20

    I also don't believe it- what is happening here is people are making false accusations...I also believe soccer is totally too liberal in the amount of backchat, acting out, spitting, waving of arms etc etc that goes on. The ref gets abused no end and just have to live with it- I say you abide by the ref's decision or go back to the dressing room- its not pleasant to watch all the goings on anyway.

      johan.mostert.967 - 2012-11-03 15:16

      Eish, the people love the race card...

      hawie.mekbib - 2012-11-03 18:20

      I don't believe that you have ever played a sport coming out with ideas like "abide by the refs decision". Even at the lowest level of any sport, when one has to deal with a ref blatantly giving calls to the opposing team frustration tends to make an appearance. It's a very basic emotion.

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-11-05 06:47

      HAWIE So you dont abide by the referees decisions. Play Rugby and see where that behaviour gets you. Referees are too soft in Football with letting players and officials shout and question every decision. They should get like the rugby referees.

      gieljam.gomtor - 2012-11-05 20:03

      Maybe its a case of mistaken identity some of these blokes have never been to a Zoo

  • Doorboot - 2012-11-03 15:08

    Of course Fergie will back his own boy. With regards to the other refs, Anders Firsk was a disgrace to the game who was a blatant cheat but this article will stay mum about how he robbed Chelsea. I do however believe that players need to respect the role if not the person. But in this case one eyed Clattenburg is taking strain for being a rubbish Manyou supporter.

      morne.linden - 2012-11-03 17:22

      Exactly. He only has himself to blame.

  • camiel.phillips - 2012-11-03 15:24

    Does the referees think that they do voluntary work

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-11-05 06:51

      Do you know how much a referee in the EPL gets paid about 60k a YEAR while the average salary for a palyer is about 100k A WEEK.

  • mahomedrafeek.goolam - 2012-11-03 15:29

    All I want to know is why are the refs so afraid of Fergie,most of the 50\\50 decisions go his teams way. Refs should be respected,but they have to be neutral.

      eden.vanderwiel - 2012-11-06 00:37


  • Simon Chabuka - 2012-11-03 16:14

    Chelsea are sore losers

      eden.vanderwiel - 2012-11-06 00:37

      Simon go watch the game again please and tell me are you proud of that win?

  • robert.leonard.9047 - 2012-11-03 16:40

    Surely we've had enough of the victim mentality being used when playing the race card. Surely the players should be proud of their race whatever it is and then there is no shame and no insult can be taken or inferred. These pathetic tattle-tale race incidents have now been milked to death. It is time everyone takes a mature attitude and adopts a "sticks and stones" mentality and gets on with the game. GROW UP AND STOP WHINGEING every time your pathetic feelings of inferiority are hurt. The complaints of racist comments are now getting ridiculous and sickening. Like kids in kindergarten. "Miss, Miss, Jimmy called me a ........" If I call a Scotsman "Jock or Jimmy", that is an insult, will he report me to the police? If I call an Englishman a "Pom" will he report me to the police and would the police actually take it seriously and start an investigation?

  • russellblack.cowan - 2012-11-03 17:29

    Its fine. Maybe then w won't get refs that Manchester United bribe since all the refs on Fergie's payroll will not ref Chelsea games. Up the Blues!.

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-11-05 06:53

      You are a complete idiot and lucky that everyone takes you for that because you can get taken to court for statements like that if you cannot prove them

      eden.vanderwiel - 2012-11-06 00:36

      And Gerald Parker that comment of you just shows that you are the real idiot! Hope to see the refs in the future to be eqaul when they blow Man utd and not for them as usual.

  • Sige Gorabeb - 2012-11-03 23:11

    if there is one thing that one could wish away forever, this racism thing in sport would probably be nr 1 on their list. Simply tasteless!

  • zebsonm - 2012-11-04 13:41

    its frustrating to see a premiership match,a close one for that matter decided by inept officiating.the last thing you want ton hear is the body representing these clowns threatening solidarity no fan for chelsea but equally dislikes the way close matches involving manure united are decided by these refs' poor calls.what you will read next morning is how several reviews/replays had clearly shown so and so was clearly offside or was not clipped.what a sham.

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-11-05 06:56

      What about last Wednesday night. talking about offside plaese tell me when was he offsid, when the ball was played to him orwhen he scored. There is a BIG difference

  • eden.vanderwiel - 2012-11-06 00:15

    Yes its a shame this is happening, but before you Man utd supporters point fingers first sort out your own racist player(probaly the biggest racist in sport there is) Rio Ferdinand! And the way Mark C gave Man Utd the game he should be ban from refereeing, that was a disgrace of a referee we saw last sunday night!

  • eden.vanderwiel - 2012-11-06 00:33

    I cant see Mark getting of the hook. JT had no evidence against him but was found guilty because of ferdinands "word". So if the FA is fair shame will go to clatteburg,but I gues it will not because he was for united

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