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Clattenburg to miss another weekend

Mark Clattenburg will sit out a fourth weekend of Premier League games as he awaits the Football Association's decision on claims from Chelsea that he used inappropriate language towards John Obi Mikel.

Clattenburg denies the accusation but with no verdict from the FA expected until later in the week he will be off duty again, a decision he welcomes while the case is still to be concluded.

Several Chelsea players have been interviewed by the FA regarding the matter, as well as Clattenburg himself and the two assistant referees Michael McDonough and Simon Long and fourth official Michael Jones who were present at Stamford on October 28 and communicated via a microphone.

Their conversations are not recorded so it will be up to the trio to confirm whether Chelsea's version of events is accurate.

An FA source told ESPN that the governing body want any charges in the Cattenburg case to be "watertight", hence why they have taken so much time in diligently considering the evidence.

The source said the FA are "absolutely bottoming it out", making sure the process is "watertight", at least as watertight as possible.

It may be that there are no charges against Clattenburg, but that Chelsea face charges for their comments to the match officials after the match. The FA have warned caution on predicting any outcome of their enquiries.

It is understood Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay, coach Roberto Di Matteo and an angry John Obi Mikel all spoke with Clattenburg in his room after the game, and the referee filed a report on this incident, which puts Chelsea in the frame for charges which will be easier to substantiate than third parties reporting comments alleged to have been made by Clattenburg aimed at Mikel.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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