The Football Association will take no action against Mark Clattenburg following Chelsea's allegations that he racially abused John Obi Mikel.
• Mark Clattenburg cleared of wrongdoing by FA
• Jon Obi Mikel charged with misconduct over post-match incident
• Clattenburg said to be consulting lawyers over possible legal action
• Ramires, Chelsea's only witness, 'acted in good faith'
Clattenburg was accused of using inappropriate language by Chelsea after the fractious 3-2 defeat against Manchester United. Specifically, he was accused of calling Mikel a "monkey". Last week, the Metropolitan Police, who were also investigating the incident, said they would take no action against the Durham official. And now the FA have cleared the official of any wrongdoing.
An FA statement read: "Having considered all of the available evidence it was the opinion of David Waters QC, independent counsel, that the evidence of Ramires was not supported by any other evidence. Moreover it was contradicted by other witnesses and does not cross the evidential threshold required to bring a charge against Mark Clattenburg.
"Having considered Counsel’s opinion, and in view of all the circumstances of the case, The FA does not believe that there is a case for Mr Clattenburg to answer."
Chelsea are holding a press conference this afternoon, at 5.30pm, to unveil new manager Rafael Benítez, an event which now risks being overshadowed by the criticism which is bound to be shown in Chelsea's direction.
The FA have also charged Mikel with misconduct over the heated exchanges which followed the United game, when a Chelsea delegation entered the referee's changing room.
Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel has been charged by The FA for an alleged breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to his side’s game against Manchester United on 28 October 2012.
"It is alleged that in or around the Match Officials’ changing room at the end of the fixture, Mikel used threatening and/or abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour," read an FA statement. Mikel has until Friday Nov 30 to respond.
Speaking of his relief Clattenburg said: "To know you were innocent of something but that there was the opportunity for it to wreck your career was truly frightening.
"Racism has no place in football and this experience should not discourage those to speak out if they genuinely believe they are a victim of abuse. However, there are processes that should be adhered in order that any investigation can be carried out in a manner that is fair for all parties involved."
It is understood that Clattenburg is now consulting his lawyers over the possibility of taking legal action against Chelsea.
"I know first-hand the ramifications of allegations of this nature being placed into the public domain ahead of a formal process and investigation," he said. "I hope no referee has to go through this in the future."
Full Statement from The FA