Mark Clattenburg will not discover the outcome of the Football Association's investigation into a complaint by Chelsea against the match official until next week, according to sources close to the investigation.
The timing of the decision means that Clattenburg could now miss refereeing a fourth weekend of matches even if the FA announce that no action will be taken.
Chelsea have alleged that Clattenburg used inappropriate language, understood to have been interpreted as racist, towards their midfielder John Obi Mikel during the west London club's 3-2 defeat by Manchester United on October 28. Clattenburg strenuously denies the allegations.
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