Clattenburg in new storm as Southampton allege Lallana abuse

Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg faces an FA investigation, after claims from Southampton that club captain Adam Lallana was subjected to abuse.

Following a complaint from Southampton, Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg is again embroiled in a storm surrounding his conduct.

The incident follows a case in 2012, when Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel alleged that the top-flight ref subjected him to personal abuse, on that occasion, of a racial nature.

It is important to stress that Clattenburg was entirely cleared of any wrongdoing on that occasion.

The 38-year-old also drew criticism in 2007, when in control of a Merseyside Derby, he took a yellow card out of his pocket, to book Tony Hibbert of Everton. However, after a brief discussion with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, Clattenburg produced a red card and sent Hibbert off, provoking the anger of Everton.

This latest incident came in the aftermath of Southampton penalty appeals at Goodison Park on Sunday the 29th of December 2013. Everton defender Antolin Alcaraz appeared to throw out an arm to block an attempted cross from Adam Lallana.

Lallana appealed the decision, before appearing to become far more riled than he initially was. It was then that Southampton, and Lallana, allege that Clattenburg made a comment that was "not what you might expect of one of the game’s top officials".

Post-match, Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino was indignant in his belief that Southampton deserved more from the tie, the first that Clattenburg had been allowed to referee at Goodison Park since the aforementioned Merseyside Derby in 2007.

Pochettino then launched into a rant against league officials in the build-up to his side's home Premier League clash with Chelsea, saying that he felt his side received different treatment from officials due to the age and appearance of many of his squad.

The allegation claims that the abuse directed at Lallana was not a generalised insult or use of common swear words, but instead Clattenburg aimed a personal and abusive comment at the England midfielder.

In the interim, Southampton have requested that Mark Clattenburg is not appointed to their fixtures.

Southampton assistant manager Jesus Perez refused to comment on the case in Friday's press conference ahead of the Saints' cup tie with Championship side Burnley.

The FA and the Premier League have at this stage made no official comment.

image: © wonker

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch