Mark Clattenburg.

Mark Clattenburg defends his controversial comments about Chelsea v Spurs

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Football News

Chelsea's clash against Tottenham in May 2016 will go down in history as one of the most chaotic in Premier League history. 

The game, which has become known as the 'Battle of the Bridge', saw the hosts come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 and deny Spurs the title. 

Mark Clattenburg was refereeing that evening and revealed yesterday that the reason he didn't show any red cards, despite booking 12 players, was because he had a "gameplan" to let the north London club lose the title. 

"If I sent three players off from Tottenham, what are the headlines? 'Clattenburg cost Tottenham the title,'" he said on an NBC podcast, per the BBC

"Some referees would have played by the book; Tottenham would have been down to seven or eight players and probably lost and they would've been looking for an excuse.

"But I didn't give them an excuse, because my gameplan was: Let them lose the title."

Unsurprisingly, these comments caused huge controversy back in England and the former Premier League ref, who now officiates in Saudi Arabia, has quickly moved to defend what he's said. 

He claims that his words have been taken out of context and that he only spoke out to offer an insight of what it's like to take charge of a top-flight game. 

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

"Referees haven't been allowed to speak for years. I want to try and educate and for people to understand," he told Sky Sports News.

"Yes there's words that have been taken out of context, and I could have used different words in some places.

"Teams will go into a match best prepared, scouting the opposition. As a referee I've got to go into the game and make sure I'm forearmed with all the information that I need to give my best performance."

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Even over a year after that famous night at Stamford Bridge, Clattenburg still insists he wouldn't change how he officiated.

"I don't regret what I did in that match. I thoroughly enjoyed the match. I came off the pitch knowing that I hadn't influenced the result, and that was the most important thing."

Eden Hazard
Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham Hotspur
Francesc Fabregas

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