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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Saints furious as Clattenburg cleared

Southampton have said they do not believe it is appropriate for Mark Clattenburg to officiate their matches until their complaint about his conduct towards Adam Lallana in the defeat at Everton has been "properly resolved."

Mark Clattenburg made his return in the match between Southampton and Norwich
Mark Clattenburg has no case to answer.

The referees' governing body ruled on Friday that Clattenburg had no case to answer after the Saints accused the official of "abusing and insulting" captain Lallana when he unsuccessfully appealed for a penalty in the 2-1 loss at Goodison Park.

The south coast club wrote to Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) on New Year's Eve to register their complaint. In a letter seen by the Press Association, they claimed Clattenburg told Lallana: "You are very different now, since you've played for England -- you never used to be like this."

After a review, PGMOL ruled that Clattenburg had no case to answer and said the referee, who takes charge of the FA Cup tie between Arsenal and Tottenham on Saturday, could continue to officiate as planned.

A statement said: "PGMOL is committed to constructive dialogue and communication with clubs, managers and players.

"On 31 Dec. PGMOL received a letter from Southampton, who raised concerns about the conduct of Mark Clattenburg following their game with Everton. In a written response to Southampton, PGMOL acknowledge that their complaint has been considered in full.

"However, given the nature of the conversation with the player, having reviewed the footage and spoken to the team of officials as well as the Premier League Match Delegate, it has been found that there is no case to answer."

Southampton voiced anger at that verdict, and a spokesman said that, from the club's point of view, the matter was not concluded.

"An official insulting any player, no matter his intentions, is clearly not acceptable behaviour," the spokesman added. "For this reason, we do not accept the verdict of the PGMOL in relation to this case and do not consider the matter to be over.

"Under the circumstances, we do not feel it appropriate for Mr Clattenburg to officiate in any of our matches until this matter is properly resolved."

St Mary's boss Mauricio Pochettino was critical of Clattenburg's decision-making after the Everton game, saying his side should have been awarded not one but two spot-kicks.

He said: "I don't mean any disrespect against any referees, but anyone watching the game can see there were two clear penalties that weren't given or should have been given."

Pochettino said he believed his side's "young and friendly" image was costing them decisions in big games.

"We have been suffering all season long," he said. "Many injustices have gone against us. It is easier to referee a Southampton side that are all young, friendly players. It is very easy to have decisions not go for us. It is a lot easier to have decisions to go against us."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.


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