MARK CLATTENBURG: John Obi Mikel once screamed at me that he wanted to break my legs and received only a three-match ban… the FA MUST make an example of Aleksandar Mitrovic after he shoved Chris Kavanagh
- Referee Chris Kavanagh should be praised for sending off Aleksandar Mitrovic
- Mitrovic’s actions were the latest example of referee’s being abused by players
- Officials must be respected at the top level to ensure the same in the grassroots
January 2000 was when Roy Keane raged at referee Andy D’Urso, with Jaap Stam and Ryan Giggs in tow, for awarding the first league penalty against Manchester United at Old Trafford in six years.
Back then, the FA tried to do something by consulting the captains of the clubs, one idea being that only they should speak to the officials.
That went on to be trialled. Clearly it never entered the laws of football. More and more, it feels like respect for referees has gone out of the window in the English game.
Officials are being abused weekly — Aleksandar Mitrovic is just the latest example — and the issue is what’s seen at the top level is transferred all the way down to grassroots.
Michael Oliver red-carded Angel Di Maria in an FA Cup loss to Arsenal in March 2015 because the Manchester United man grabbed him from behind. Oliver was applauded for that response, and Chris Kavanagh should be praised for his handling of Mitrovic, too.
The FA could make an example of Aleksandar Mitrovic for being physical with Chris Kavanagh
Michael Oliver sent off Angel Di Maria in 2015 after being grabbed by the then Man United star
John Obi Mikel was given a three game ban for making an alleged threat to Mark Clattenburg
Chelsea’s John Mikel Obi once swung at me in the referee’s room at Stamford Bridge.
He screamed he wanted to break my legs and was being held back by Roberto Di Matteo and Eddie Newton.
In the end, Mikel only received a three-match ban for that incident. I thought, ‘Are the FA taking the p***? He should be banned for the rest of the season, if not more.’
Mitrovic wasn’t as aggressive as Mikel, but he got physical with Kavanagh. The FA may now use him to set an example to others.
Referees need to be respected at the highest level because if they aren’t, that impacts what happens at the lowest level.
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