9 years after! Mikel insists he won’t apologise to Mark Clattenburg

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Former Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi got involved in a heated confrontation with ex Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg in 2012, during a league game against Manchester United.

In that game, Ramires had told Mikel that the referee called him a monkey, to which Mikel reacted angrily.

Due to the aggressive confrontation between Mikel and the referee, the former Nigeria captain was given a three-game ban and a £60,000 fine.

Nine years on, Mikel has maintained that he still believes what his teammate told him about Clattenburg.

Speaking to the Athletic recently, Mikel said that even though he didn’t hear the slur being said, he still trusts his teammate’s accusation.

“Did he say it or not? I didn’t know,” Mikel explained of his stance. “But if your colleague comes up to you, of course you’re going to trust what they say, someone you see and speak to every day.

“So I can’t apologize for something that my colleague said he [Clattenburg] did.”

Chelsea lost that game 3-2, and Clattenburg was in the heat of things as Chelsea were already aggrieved following his questionable decisions. He had sent off Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres, and then a Javier Hernandez’s winner was allowed to stand, despite it being an offside goal.

With Ramires moving on to tell Mikel that the ref said “shut up you, monkey”, it all became too much for the former Blue.

He added: “I lost it, I was so angry. We’d lost the game as well. There were a few decisions he’d given that cost us the game. Everything just boiled up. That was it. I wanted to confront him, find out if he did say that word. I wasn’t really allowed to speak to him, he didn’t want to.

“It was crazy in the tunnel. I don’t think anyone at the club had seen me like that before. I had lots of people trying to hold me back… the players, the club. Everyone came out. It was a case of, ‘Try and stop me’. I wanted to break down that door to the referee’s room and ask him questions. I was livid.”

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.

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