A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.
The FA has begun an investigation into Mark Clattenburg after allegations that he used “inappropriate language” towards John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata on Sunday. Clattenburg is accused of using racial language in insulting the two players. The FA statement read:
"The FA has begun an investigation relating to allegations made following Sunday's fixture at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Manchester United [Sunday 28 October 2012]. The FA will make no further comment at this time."
Clattenburg has been taken off refereeing duties for the upcoming weekend whilst the FA investigates the claims. With the Professional Game Match Officials association saying:
"Mark Clattenburg is one of the elite referees in world football and, in these circumstances, the intense level of scrutiny would detract from the match and be unfair to the clubs and the supporters of both sides."
The union is standing by Clattenburg, who has promised to co-operate fully with the investigation. There has also been a complaint made to the Metropolitan Police about the language used by Clattenburg. Former referee Graham Poll believes the other officials on the pitch will be key to the case. The assistant referees will have heard anything said through the microphones used by the referee, which are always open, though conversations are not recorded.
Juan Mata has so far been silent on the allegations, preferring to discuss the result of the game and his team’s good performance.
Javier Hernandez has also been discussing the weekend’s match, describing Manchester United’s 3-2 win as potentially pivotal saying: “This game could have changed the title.”
Didier Drogba has been included on the shortlist for the Balon d’Or. The Ivorian striker, now at Shanghai, scored the equaliser and the winning penalty in the final as Chelsea claimed the Champions League.
No doubt largely because of that fantastic victory, Roberto Di Matteo has also been shortlisted for an award, joining the likes of Jose Mourinho and Vicente del Bosque in the running for FIFA World Coach of the Year.
West Brom manager Steve Clarke has said that the club are aware of the possibility Romelu Lukaku could be recalled to Chelsea in January. The Belgian was excellent and scored his side’s goal as WBA lost a tight game 2-1 at St James Park on Sunday and Roberto Di Matteo has recently confirmed Chelsea are able to recall the striker in the transfer window.
image: © wshjackson