Mikel’s angriest day in Chelsea’s colours came when Ramires told the Chelsea team he heard a racist term made at Mikel by centre referee Mark Clattenburg, an incident that made Mikel lose it all.
October 28, 2012, Chelsea lost 3-2 to Manchester United under a controversial officiating by Clattenburg who red carded Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres and awarded an offside goal to Javier Hernandez for the winner.
All the emotions put together made Mikel lose it after Ramires told his teammates about the alleged racism; “I lost it,” Mikel told The Athletic. “I was so angry. We’d lost the game as well. There were a few decisions he’d given that cost us the game.
“Everything just boiled up. That was it. I wanted to confront him, find out if he did say that word. I wasn’t really allowed to speak to him, he didn’t want to.
“It was crazy in the tunnel. I don’t think anyone at the club had seen me like that before. I had lots of people trying to hold me back… the players, the club. Everyone came out. It was a case of, ‘Try and stop me’. I wanted to break down that door to the referee’s room and ask him questions. I was livid.”
The case was investigated by the FA who found no case for racism against Clattenburg. Mikel was fined £60,000 and suspended for three games but Ramires was not punished as his complaint was adjudged to have been made in good faith.
Mikel has no regrets about the consequences and does not put blame on Ramires but will never apologise to Clattenburg; “In the heat of the game, players go through emotions. Your colleague said they heard something, but they may not have heard right.
“Did he say it or not? I didn’t know. But if your colleague comes up to you, of course you’re going to trust what they say, someone you see and speak to every day.”
“So I can’t apologise for something that my colleague said he (Clattenburg) did.” he concluded.