Date:6th December 2012 at 8:37pm
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Just 24-hours after news of his new five-year deal at the club, John Obi Mikel has been hit with a three-match ban following an incident in the official’s changing room in the aftermath of our 3-2 Premier League defeat against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in October.

The Nigerian midfielder already confessed that he had confronted referee Mark Clattenburg after the game had finished and the Independent Regulatory Commission have ruled that the player is to be fined £60,000 and will miss Chelsea’s fixtures against Sunderland and Aston Villa on the league, as well as our trip to Leeds United in the Capital One Cup. The panel revealed that the ban would have been significantly longer, only Mikel believed he had been racially abused by Clattenburg.

So, it seems as though Mikel will be out until Boxing Day, with the exception of the World Club Cup, which certainly presents Oriol Romeu with an opportunity, especially as the former Barcelona man has featured a little more since Rafa Benitez was appointed interim boss.

Anyway, the FA statement on the matter read:

“Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel has been given a three-match suspension to begin with immediate effect and fined £60,000 following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today [Thursday 6 December 2012].

“Mikel had requested a personal hearing after admitting an FA charge of using threatening and/or abusive and/or insulting words and/or behavior.

“The breach of FA Rule E3 was in relation to an incident which occurred in the match official’s changing room at the end of Chelsea’s fixture against Manchester United on 28 October 2012.

“The Regulatory Commission’s independent chairman Christopher Quinlan QC emphasized that the Independent Regulatory Commission accepted, as did The FA, that at the time he threatened the referee the player genuinely believed that the referee had racially abused him.

“But for that factor the suspension would have been significantly longer.”