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Dec 14, 2012

Mikel: Clattenburg controversy is over

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has said he would not have a problem if Mark Clattenburg were to referee another Blues match.

After their controversial 3-2 home defeat to Manchester United in October, refereed by Clattenburg, the London club claimed the official had used "inappropriate language".

There were allegations that Mikel believed Clattenburg had called him "a monkey".

Mikel, 25, will serve a three-match ban following an incident in the official's changing room after the match. He admitted a charge that he confronted Clattenburg after the game.

After he had had a personal hearing, the Independent Regulatory Commission revealed that the punishment, which included a £60,000 fine, would have been "significantly longer" but for the fact he had believed he had been racially abused by Clattenburg.

Clattenburg was investigated by both the FA and the police before being cleared, and Mikel said: "Everything is put to bed - we move on. If he refereed a game, there would certainly be no problem.

"Now it is done, I am glad it is over. I am sure he is glad it is over as well, and the FA. We can move on from here."

But Mikel said English football needed to do more to combat racism, adding: "It has been there for years. Hopefully everyone will work together - the players and the FA - to make sure we try to stop things like that."