Clattenburg cleared by FA after Saints complaint
Referee Mark Clattenburg was on Monday cleared of misconduct by the Football Association (FA) following a complaint from Southampton about his alleged comments to England midfielder Adam Lallana.
Saints had complained about critical comments allegedly made by Clattenburg to Lallana during Southampton's defeat at Everton in December.
The Premier League club had claimed in a letter to the referees' governing body, Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), that Clattenburg, frustrated by Lallana's constant appeals for decisions to go his side's way, had told the player: "You are very different now, since you've played for England - you never used to be like this."
They complained to the FA after the PGMOL ruled out action against Clattenburg and said they did not want him refereeing any of their matches until the issue was resolved.
A club spokesman said last week: "An official insulting any player, no matter his intentions, is clearly not acceptable behaviour. For this reason we do not accept the verdict of the PGMOL in relation to this case and do not consider the matter to be over.
"Under the circumstances we do not feel it appropriate for Mr Clattenburg to officiate in any of our matches until this matter is properly resolved."
But the FA has considered the complaint and will take no action against Clattenburg.
An FA statement said: "The FA can confirm it received a complaint from Southampton concerning referee Mark Clattenburg and his alleged comments made to their player Adam Lallana.
"The FA has given its full consideration to this matter and it is our view that the comments, as disclosed in Southampton's letter of complaint, do not constitute misconduct under the FA's rules.
"Consequently, The FA will not be taking any further action in relation to this matter and now considers this case to be closed."
Clattenburg is no stranger to controversy after Chelsea accused him of racially abusing midfielder John Obi Mikel last season during a match with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
It took an FA inquiry to rule there was no case to answer and six months later Clattenburg was back officiating Chelsea once again.