HomeSportSoccerMikel handed three-match ban

Mikel handed three-match ban

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LONDON — Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel was on Thursday suspended for three matches and fined £60 000 for clashing with match officials following the controversial 3-2 defeat to Manchester United.

Report by Reuters

Mikel was reported to have stormed into the officials’ dressing room at Stamford Bridge after the Premier League match in October following accusations that referee Mark Clattenburg had racially abused the Chelsea midfielder.

Mikel had admitted using threatening and/or abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour in the official’s changing room at the end of the game at Stamford Bridge on October 28, said the Football Association.

“Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel has been given a three-match suspension to begin with immediate effect and fined £60 000 following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today,” said an FA statement.

“The Regulatory Commission’s independent chairman Christopher Quinlan QC emphasised that the Independent Regulatory Commission accepted, as did The FA, that at the time he threatened the referee the player genuinely believed that the referee had racially abused him.

“Mikel’s suspension will take effect immediately, ruling the Nigeria international out of domestic duty until December 26.

“The 25-year-old, who signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea on Wednesday, will miss today’s trip to Sunderland, but will be available when his club compete in the Club World Cup in Japan next week.

With Mikel also likely to be absent on African Cup of Nations duty in January, Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has started looking for cover for the Nigerian from within his squad.

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