Referee Mark Clattenburg investigated after Southampton say he ‘abused and insulted’ Adam Lallana

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Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg is no stranger to controversy, and it seems as though he’s about to be questioned once again.

Late in Southampton’s 2-1 defeat to Everton last Sunday, Saints skipper Adam Lallana felt Antolin Alcaraz handled his cross and his team should’ve had a penalty. That resulted in protests from Lallana and his teammates which saw Clattenburg in a heated debate with the Saints’ captain and the incident in question occurred.

It’s been revealed by the Daily Mail in England that Southampton Football Club have lodged a formal complaint to the referees association that Clattenburg’s behavior was ‘not what you might expect of one of the game’s top officials’. Saints have also asked the Premier League that Clattenburg doesn’t referee any of their games in the future and referees chief Mike Riley is currently heading up the investigation

(MORE: London police open investigation into allegations against Mark Clattenburg)

What was said is still unclear and Southampton’s assistant manager Jesus Perez refused to clarify the situation in the teams press conference on Friday morning. But given Clattenburg’s previous issues with players and his forthright style of refereeing, this isn’t the first time he’s been embroiled in controversy.

Last season Clattenburg was accused by Chelsea of racially abusing midfielder John Mikel Obi during a feisty clash with Manchester United. An FA inquiry found Clattenburg didn’t act incorrectly and after spending time away from referring, he was soon back in the thick of things in the PL.

Time will tell how this one pans out, as Southampton apparently want an apology from Clattenburg for the way he treated Lallana.

Was this a case of disrespect from a referee towards a player? Or something more sinister?

ON Saturday Clattenburg is penciled in to referee Arsenal’s FA Cup home tie against North London rivals Tottenham, and Gunners manager Arsene Wenger hopes that’s still the case despite this controversy.

“I would be disappointed if he isn’t the referee,” Wenger said. “You are innocent till proven guilty.”