Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has claimed Mark Clattenburg is responsible for Gareth Barry's one-match suspension, which rules him out of Saturday's game at Newcastle.
City are unhappy with Clattenburg, believing that, while Barry has admitted swearing, he merely responded to a comment Clattenburg made as players left the pitch.
Mancini believes that the official should have shown greater understanding, given that City had just been defeated by Robin van Persie's injury-time free kick, and wondered whether Clattenburg's actions were influenced by events at Stamford Bridge in October.
The referee was accused of racially abusing John Obi Mikel in Chelsea's 3-2 defeat to Manchester United before being cleared, while the Nigerian midfielder was then given a three-match ban and a £60,000 fine for threatening the official after the match.
Clattenburg did not officiate until his name was cleared and his career was under threat as a result of the allegations.
Mancini said: "Gareth is a serious man and a serious player and I don't understand why Clattenburg said these things about Gareth Barry. This has come from Clattenburg and he should understand this situation. If he said inappropriate words against Clattenburg I think he should understand this.
"I don't know if Clattenburg has this problem because of Chelsea but this is another situation."
Neither the FA nor City had previously named Clattenburg as the official in question but City believe they have been harshly treated, even though they did not contest the charge levelled at Barry.
Mancini has a further problem in midfield as Jack Rodwell, who has not played since October, has suffered a setback in his bid to return from a hamstring injury.
The England international has only made two starts since his August move from Everton and Mancini is worried about Rodwell's long-standing injury worries.
He added: "We need to work hard with Jack because he is a good player and a good man. He has a problem from the past."
Another former Everton player, Joleon Lescott, has been linked with a return to Goodison Park on loan in January but Mancini, who is set to lose Kolo Toure to the African Nations Cup then, said: "We lose some players to the African Cup of Nations and have some players injured so I think this is difficult."