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Fergie Backs Clattenburg; Wenger Criticizes Chelsea

Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson said he supports referee Mark Clattenburg despite Chelsea’s allegations that he used “inappropriate language” during the game between the teams at Stamford Bridge last Sunday. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, went a step further, criticizing Chelsea’s decision to make the matter public.

Immediately following the Blues’ 3-2 loss to United on Sunday, Chelsea lodged a formal complaint with the English FA for what a few of its players -- reportedly David Luiz and Ramires --believe was a racist insult directed at Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel. A second complaint involving playmaker Juan Mata has since been dropped.

"I don't believe Mark Clattenburg would make any comments like that," Ferguson told reporters during a press conference. "I refuse to believe it ... I played myself and I know that the banter which went on between referees and players 25 years ago is different to today.” He added: “I've never had a player come to me in the last 15 years and say a referee swore in a game -- ever."

During his press conference, Arsenal’s Wenger said he didn’t think Cheslea should have gone public with the matter. "My opinion is just that I prefer, when I didn't behave well, that I have an explanation with the referee at the end of the game or on another day, (rather) than going public with little proof," he said, adding: “If it becomes a sport to make the lawyers rich, I am not a fan of it.” 

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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