Mikel banned for 3 matches for confronting referee

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.