Posted: Thu December 6, 2012 1:49PM; Updated: Thu December 6, 2012 1:49PM

Mikel banned for 3 matches for confronting referee

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
John Obi Mikel
John Obi Mikel and Chelsea were bounced from the Champions League on Wednesday.
Antonio Calanni/AP

LONDON (AP) -- Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel was banned for three matches and fined 60,000 pounds ($96,400) on Thursday for confronting an English Premier League referee in the official's changing room.

The Nigeria international approached Mark Clattenburg after the match against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Oct. 28, having been wrongly informed by a teammate that the ref had racially abused him.

An investigation by the English Football Association subsequently found Clattenburg had no case to answer, but the governing body took into consideration the context of the incident when sanctioning Mikel for "using threatening and/or abusive and/or insulting words and/or behavior.''

"But for that factor, the suspension would have been significantly longer,'' the FA said in a statement.

Mikel will miss league matches against Sunderland and Aston Villa, as well as a League Cup quarterfinal at Leeds.

Mikel had already accepted the FA charge.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SI Videos
Videos from the Web
 
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Playoffs NHL Playoffs NFL schedule LaMarcus Aldridge Michael Pineda Phil Jackson Tiger Woods
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint