By 90Min
December 10, 2017

Former Premier League Referee Mark Clattenburg has responded to the backlash regarding his incendiary comments about his conduct during the game between Chelsea and Tottenham in May 2016, saying they were 'misinterpreted', according to BBC Sport.

Clattenburg's controversial comments last week came during a conversation with NBC's Men in Blazers podcast, when he described going into the game "with a gameplan" and admitted allowing Tottenham to "self-destruct".

However, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live on Sunday, Clattenburg sought reparations. The 42-year-old, now working in Saudi Arabia, conceded: "I probably said it in the wrong way.

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"One thing I certainly don't want to do is be the centre of attention."

The incredible comments from the acclaimed referee were met with almost universal derision, with critics appalled at Clattenburg's admissions. 

Former Premier League official Dermot Gallagher said: "We are duty bound to treat every player in every game firmly, fairly and consistently.

"He [Clattenburg] certainly didn't. It was all about him, wasn't it?"

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However, Clattenburg reiterated some of his previous comments, continuing: "Tottenham self-destructed when Chelsea equalised. 

"When Tottenham lost their discipline in the last few minutes, it was an opportunity for me to say: 'OK, the game is finished, do I want to be the centre of attention?'.

"Tottenham drew the match which meant they had lost the title. I always said my gameplan was not to be the centre of attention, not to cost anybody the title and not to influence the result."

Clattenburg also had some advice, and praise for Michael Oliver ahead of his task in the Manchester derby, saying: "I'm sure Michael Oliver, who is one of the best Premier League referees that we have got at the moment, will be mentally and physically prepared.

"Regarding the comments from Jose Mourinho, I'm sure Michael is experienced enough to ignore them and judge the game as it is.He will probably try to manage the game verbally before he goes for the yellow card. But, if a yellow card is needed, he has to show it."

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