John Obi Mikel, Brazilian born soccer player for Chelsea, see’s himself get suspended from the British Barclays Premier League after confronting a referee over a racial slur during a late October match against Manchester United.
A few of Mikel’s teammates told him they heard referee Mark Clattenburg shout a racial slur at him, calling him a “monkey,” during the October 28th match.
After an investigation Clattenburg, who had to sit out four matches for the investigation to be concluded, was cleared of any wrongdoing. But Mikel is now being slapped with a 60,000 pound fine and three-game suspension for his actions after the match.
Upon hearing from teammates that Clattenburg had said to him “Shut up you Monkey,” Mikel charged into the officials changing room to confront the referee.
The sanctions were revealed on Thursday by the Independent Regulatory Commission and they said in a statement that the punishment could have been longer, but they were lenient in their decision because Mikel was led to believe he was racially abused.
Still with the announcement of Mikel’s suspension the official’s union was not happy with the Football Association’s lenient punishment.
“For entering the referees dressing room and threatening and intimidating the referee to the extent that he feared for his safety the penalty was no longer than had the player been sent off for serious foul play,” secretary of the official’s union Alan Leighton said. “This did absolutely nothing to further the Respect campaign… far too much weight had been given to the mitigating factor and that Mikel’s behaviour merited a strong deterrent penalty.”