The Chelsea manager has assured that his Nigerian midfielder will be civil to the referee when Chelsea host Swansea on Sunday
Chelsea’s interim manager, Rafael Benitez has assured that Chelsea and Mikel Obi will welcome referee Mark Clattenburg to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
There was bad blood generated last October when Clattenburg was the centre referee between Chelsea and Manchester United, which Uunited won 3-2.
At that meeting, Clattenburg sent off two Chelsea players and was accused of casting a racial slur at Mikel Obi.
The Nigerian midfielder was given a three-match ban and a £60,000 fine from the FA for aggressively confronting the referee after the encounter. Clattenburg was cleared after FA investigations though he was relieved of refereeing duties for about a month.
But Benitez has said all that is in the past and forgotten and that Mikel will shake the referee’s hand before the match against Swansea.
“I think John will shake his hand, I don’t see any problem,” Benitez told the Daily Mail.
“They are professionals and know their job so hopefully everyone will concentrate on the football and that will be it.”
Chelsea also have history with Swansea as the Welsh club beat the European champions in the semi-final of the Capital One Cup and Eden Hazard was banned for kicking a ball-boy in the second leg.
“It was a bad image but it’s in the past and you have to move forward,” Benitez concluded.
Chelsea are chasing a top-four finish in the Premiership and a place in the Europa League final.