• Premier League

Ferguson doesn't believe Clattenburg allegation

ESPN staff
November 2, 2012

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has backed referee Mark Clattenburg over allegations of "inappropriate language" made against the official by Chelsea.

Both the Metropolitan Police and the FA are currently investigating claims made against Clattenburg by Premier League leaders Chelsea in the wake of last Sunday's clash with United at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have lodged an official complaint for what they believe was inappropriate language directed at Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel, although a second allegation involving Spain playmaker Juan Mata has since been dropped. Clattenburg maintains his innocence.

Ferguson - whose United side played at the Bridge for a second time in a week on Wednesday when Chelsea won their Capital One Cup tie 5-4 in extra time - said he finds the allegation difficult to credit.

"I don't believe Mark Clattenburg would make any comments like that," Ferguson said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's home clash against Arsenal.

"I refuse to believe it. I think it is 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 am convinced of that."

The affair took a further controversial turn during Wednesday night's game after a man was accused of making a 'monkey' gesture in the direction of United striker Danny Welbeck.

Both the Metropolitan Police and Chelsea are investigating the incident.

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