Football is facing a new racism scandal, with Chelsea making formal allegations about the conduct of referee Mark Clattenberg during our game against Manchester United on Sunday..
These allegations are very serious and leave this referee’s career hanging in the balance. For this reason I implore Chelsea fans to be objective and separate what was an abject refereeing performance from the alleged inappropriate comments, particularly if they have a racial element.
If these allegations are true and proven then this may well be the end of the Clattenberg’s refereeing career with the men in black unlikely to be given the same opportunity of redemption as players charged with using racial language by the FA.
As others have stated as a referee the standard that referees are held to should be higher than than the players as they are supervising the game and are the inforcers of the rules.
The FA cannot risk their refereeing appointments being bigger news than the game, particularly after the controversy over the recent Kick It Out week of action that attracted the wrong kind of media attention and called into question action being taken on an important issue.
Unlike the FA I believe in nnocent until proven guilty and this should be applied to this case.
Therefore as tempting as it is to transfer anger at the result on Sunday onto the allegations against Mark Clattenburg, we should refrain.
Due to the seriousness and the fall out, we should wait for the evidence to become clear and let others judge guilt or innocent, in turn avoiding rash judgements or letting the influence of bias impact our opinion on this issue.
For now Clattenberg is just a shocking referee, is he a racist? Well that’s for somebody else to decide.