FA dismisses Clattenburg complaint
The FA has said it will take no action against referee Mark Clattenburg after Southampton complained about his conduct towards Adam Lallana in last month's defeat at Everton.
The south coast club took their complaint to English football's governing body after the referees' organisation ruled on Friday that Clattenburg had no case to answer.
The Saints had accused the official of "abusing and insulting" captain Lallana when he unsuccessfully appealed for a penalty in the 2-1 loss at Goodison Park.
But the FA has also ruled that Clattenburg, who took charge of Saturday’s North London derby in the FA Cup, should not have action taken against him.
Southampton 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: "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. The complaint was then forwarded to the FA.
"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.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.