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Police drop probe against referee

Mark Clattenburg

London: Chelsea went public for the first time Tuesday with detailed racial abuse allegations against a referee, insisting there was no misunderstanding and that their players heard Mark Clattenburg use the word “monkey” during a Premier League match.

Chairman Bruce Buck opted to end Chelsea’s public silence on the claims despite an ongoing investigation by the English Football Association into the events during last month’s match against Manchester United.

But Clattenburg is no longer being investigated by the police due to a lack of evidence. The probe was sparked by the Society of Black Lawyers complaining based on media reports, but neither Chelsea nor its players approached the Metropolitan Police.

“Enquires were made and no victims have come forward ... without a victim and/or any evidence that any offense has been committed, the matter cannot currently be investigated,” the force said in a statement.European champion Chelsea have been criticised for lodging a complaint with the FA while still backing captain John Terry, who has just served a four-match ban for racially abusing an opponent.

But Buck said in an interview that Chelsea had a duty to report the allegations after black midfielders John Obi Mikel and Ramires said they heard the offending word.

“Suppose we had tried to sweep this under the rug and said to the various players, ‘Look, it’s not a big deal and the press are going to be all over us, maybe you want to reconsider,’” Buck was quoted as saying.

“If that had leaked out, we would’ve really been crucified.”

(Agencies)