Thursday, November 01, 2012


London Metropolitan Police have started an investigation after a fan made what appeared to be a racist gesture in Chelsea's League Cup win over Manchester United.

The Chelsea fan had been pictured appearing to make a 'monkey' gesture during last night's match at Stamford Bridge with Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck was pictured in the same frame.

It is an image which will re-ignite the toxic issue of racism as Chelsea last night pressed ahead with a formal complaint to the FA of inappropriate language used by race-row referee Mark Clattenburg.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman has confirmed the authority was aware of the photograph, but said no formal complaint had yet been made as at this morning

The police require someone to formally report the incident to begin evaluating whether an investigation will take place.

This is what prompted the Society of Black Lawyers to report Mark Clattenburg's alleged comments towards John Obi Mikel to police after Sunday's Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge.

Nigeria midfielder, John Mikel Obi has consistently told Chelsea officials that he wanted to pursue the case against Clattenburg after the official allegedly told him to ‘shut it, monkey’ during Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat against Manchester United on Sunday.

But, before Chelsea exacted revenge for Sunday's defeat with a 5-4 extra-time triumph in the Capital One Cup last night, the second element of the London club’s initial complaint alleging the referee called Juan Mata ‘a Spanish t***’ was dropped on the advice of the club’s external legal team.

Chelsea believe they have enough evidence to convince an FA independent regulatory commission that they can meet the civil standard of proof, which is the balance of probabilities.

Clattenburg has denied using racist or inappropriate language in a submission to the FA and is backed by his two assistants and the fourth official.

The picture of the Chelsea supporter will come as a fresh blow to a club which has been dogged by the spectre of racism since captain John Terry was accused of using racist language towards QPR's Anton Ferdinand last year.

The repercussions of United’s 3-2 win at the weekend were impossible to ignore. United fans unfurled a banner saying

‘Clattenburg. Referee, Leader, Legend’ and there were more pointed chants referring to the absence of Terry, who was serving the third game of his four-match ban.

Earlier this year, Chelsea imposed a lifetime ban on a supporter who admitted racially abusing former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba.

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