Former Premier League Referee, Mark Clattenburg, has revealed that the allegations made by former Super Eagles Captain, Mikel Obi, against him after an English Premier League encounter between Chelsea and Manchester United almost made him quit.
Clattenburg revealed this in his autobiography, saying “I fell out of love with the game after Mikel incident”.
In October 2012, Clattenburg was accused of using racial abuse against the Nigerian midfielder, during that ill-tempered encounter which saw Chelsea duo of Branslav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres sent off.
The Blues made a formal complaint to the FA against the former English match official about his alleged use of “inappropriate language” towards the player during a match against Manchester United, with a police investigation also launched.
Clattenburg was soon cleared, with the FA handing Mikel a three-match ban and fined £60,000 for threatening the referee.
The 46-year-old later disclosed that he was treated unfairly throughout the ordeal.
“To be accused of something that you haven’t done is really difficult to deal with.
“To be found guilty of something before you’d even had the chance to speak is really difficult to deal with because I’ve always believed that you should be innocent until proven guilty.
“However that wasn’t the case and I didn’t want to come back and referee at that point because unfortunately I fell out of love with the game.
“But I had a mortgage to pay, a family to look after, and therefore I had to go back to refereeing. I was lucky that over the years I fell back in love with football and it made me achieve what I actually did,” Clattenburg said.
Clattenburg’s new book Whistle Blower: My Autobiography is due for release on September 30.