Clattenburg will not face any FA action
Updated: Friday, 23 Nov 2012 08:08
The English Football Association will take no action against referee Mark Clattenburg over a complaint by Chelsea that he used a racist remark towards one of their players.
The FA have decided there is "no case to answer" over the allegation the referee said "shut up you monkey" to midfielder John Obi Mikel.
An FA statement also said the complaint by Mikel's team-mate Ramires was "made in good faith".
Clattenburg spoke of his relief and said the last few weeks had been "the most stressful of his life".
He said: "I am looking forward to putting this behind me and concentrating on refereeing in the Premier League and other competitions.
"I am extremely grateful for the invaluable support of my family, my Select Group colleagues, the management of Professional Game Match Officials Limited and our union Prospect. The messages of encouragement from those inside and outside of the game have helped me through the most stressful time of my professional life.
"To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening," - Mark Clattenburg.
"To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening.
"Racism has no place in football and this experience should not discourage those to speak out if they genuinely believe they are a victim of abuse. However, there are processes that should be adhered in order that any investigation can be carried out in a manner that is fair for all parties involved.
"I know first-hand the ramifications of allegations of this nature being placed into the public domain ahead of a formal process and investigation. I hope no referee has to go through this in the future."
The FA said the evidence had been considered by independent QC David Waters who ruled Ramires' claim was not supported by any other evidence and disputed by the other match officials.
An FA statement added: "Moreover it was contradicted by other witnesses and does not cross the evidential threshold required to bring a charge against Mark Clattenburg.
"Having considered Counsel's opinion, and in view of all the circumstances of the case, The FA does not believe that there is a case for Mr Clattenburg to answer."