sport

Mikel looking to move on

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has broken his silence over the Mark Clattenburg affair, declaring: "I am glad it is over."

Mikel also insisted he would have "no problem" playing in a match refereed by Clattenburg, despite having effectively accused the official of racially abusing him.

Mikel is currently serving a three-match ban for threatening Clattenburg after Chelsea's acrimonious Premier League defeat to Manchester United in October.

The Nigeria international did so after being told by team-mate Ramires that Clattenburg had called him "a monkey" during the game, something the official was cleared of doing last month by the Football Association.

The police also declined to take action against Clattenburg and speaking after Chelsea's Club World Cup semi-final win over Monterrey, Mikel said: "I think now it is done I am glad it is over.

"I am sure he is glad it is over as well and the FA is glad it is all put to bed and we can move on from here."

Chelsea made peace with Clattenburg and his fellow referees last month after admitting "regret" over the way their complaint about him was made public.

They also indicated they would be happy for Clattenburg to referee at Stamford Bridge in future.

Mikel said today: "I think, sure, why not? Everything is put to bed, we move on. If he refereed a game, there would certainly be no problem."

The race row was the latest to engulf the game in recent years and Mikel added: "It has been been there for years and hopefully everyone will work together - the players and the FA - to make sure we try to stop things like that."