Mark Clattenburg is ready to formally deny allegations he used "inappropriate language" towards Chelsea stars John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata.
Press Association Sport understands referee Clattenburg has been shocked and angered at being accused by the European champions of using comments that have been interpreted as racist remarks during their defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
The Football Association launched an investigation on Monday after Chelsea made an official complaint against the 37-year-old, who has vowed to co-operate fully with their enquiries and is understood to be determined to clear his name.
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