FA officials are said to have interviewed the referee and his assistants, according to the BBC. Clattenburg denies the charges and other FIFA match officials, who were able to hear what was said through linked microphones and earpieces, are backing up the referee.

Chelsea, who have submitted a dossier of evidence to the FA which includes witness statements from players, were defeated 3-2 by Manchester United in last month’s game when the altercation is reported to have taken place. Fernando Torres also alleged that Clattenburg referred to him as a “a Spanish twat”, it has been reported.

Mikel claims Clattenburg made racially insulting comments when he booked the midfielder in the 76th minute. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said he thinks it is ‘unthinkable’ that the referee made the alleged comments. Clattenburg will not be refereeing any games this weekend for the second weekend running.

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