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English referee Clattenburg faces racism probe

Published on Oct 31, 2012 12:30 AM

LONDON (REUTERS) - Referee Mark Clattenburg is facing allegations he used racist language towards a Chelsea footballer, the English players' union boss confirmed on Tuesday as police and the Football Association continued their investigations.

The issue is threatening to plunge English soccer back into another racism crisis, just as Chelsea captain John Terry is serving a four-match ban for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand last year.

Chelsea have made a formal complaint that Clattenburg used "inappropriate language" towards two of their players in Sunday's 2-3 home league defeat by Manchester United but have not named names or gone into detail.

Professional Footballers' Association boss Gordon Taylor said Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel and Spanish winger Juan Mata were the players involved, confirming widespread media reports.

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