Ferguson refuses to believe Chelsea claims

Fri Nov 2, 2012 3:17pm GMT

By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson stirred the pot in the latest racism storm to hit English soccer on Friday when he dismissed Chelsea's allegations that referee Mark Clattenburg racially abused two of their players last week.

Former Chelsea player Paul Elliott, the club's first black captain, also cast doubt on the club's claims that have put racism on the back pages again.

Chelsea lodged an official complaint to the Premier League season after last Sunday's 3-2 home defeat by United, saying Clattenburg, who sent off two of their players in, had used "inappropriate language" to two of their players.

Later in the week they issued another statement saying they did not have evidence to support a second complaint of verbal abuse but said they had lodged a complaint with the Football Association regarding comments to Nigerian John Obi Mikel.

The Football Association, which has had to deal with high-profile racism cases involving Chelsea's former England skipper John Terry and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez this year, has opened an investigation into the claims.

Ferguson, however, refuses to believe Chelsea's version of events.

"I don't believe Mark Clattenburg would make comments like that, I refuse to believe it," Ferguson told reporters at his Friday news conference ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash at home to Arsenal.

"I think it's unthinkable in the modern climate and I just don't believe it, there is no way that a referee would stoop to that. I'm convinced of that.   Continued...

Manchester United's manager Alex Ferguson applauds from the stand before Everton face Newcastle United in their English Premier League soccer match at Goodison Park in Liverpool, northern England, September 17, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Staples
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