Mikel Obi Among Five Most Irritating Players I Referred – Mark Clattenburg
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Mark Clattenburg has listed former Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi among the five most annoying players he has refereed during his blistering career as a Premier League and FIFA accredited official.
Clattenburg took charge of the 2016 European Championship, Champions League and FA Cup finals among others. But the 45-year-old’s career was not without its challenges and in a recent interview, he opened up about the footballers that got on his nerves during his 13 years of top-flight officiating.
In the chat with Daily Mail UK, Clattenburg revealed the five most irritating players he has refereed; including one player who he claims squeezed his private parts in the tunnel and another who was a straight up bully.
The list includes Craig Bellamy, ex-Welsh professional footballer; Roy Keane, former Manchester United star; Jens Lehmann, former Arsenal goalkeeper; Pepe, Portuguese professional footballer; and Mikel Obi, former Nigerian international.
Speaking about the ex-Eagles captain, Clattenburg said: “I have picked Mikel because of the incident during a Chelsea v Manchester United match in 2012 when he accused me of making a racist comment, which was not right and I was later cleared by the FA.
He has never apologised and that is disappointing because it could have ruined my life. I fell out of love with refereeing for a while after that but couldn’t quit because I had a family to support and no other career to pursue. “It all left a bad feeling that still lingers today. Mikel only heard the allegation from his team-mate Ramires, who did not speak English. Other Chelsea players have since apologised but nothing from Mikel.”