Premier League - Clattenburg stood down for fourth week

Mark Clattenburg will not referee a Premier League game for a fourth weekend in succession.

Clattenburg is being investigated for allegedly racially abusing Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel during a Premier League game against Manchester United on October 28.

The Football Association is expected to announce later this week whether Clattenburg will be charged with an offence but with the matter still undecided he remains off active duty.

Police have dropped an investigation into the matter, stating last week that "without a victim and/or any evidence that any offence has been committed, the matter cannot currently be investigated."

A report in the Daily Star on Monday morning claimed the FA is ready to clear Clattenburg of using "inappropriate language" and reject Chelsea's allegations.

However, there has been no official comment from the governing body.

The FA has interviewed several Chelsea players including Mikel, plus Clattenburg, the two assistant referees Michael McDonough and Simon Long and fourth official Michael Jones.

An independent QC is studying all the evidence in close detail before recommending a decision. The sensitivities of the case, heightened by the fact it comes so soon after Chelsea skipper John Terry's four-match ban for racist abuse, means the FA is being cautious and will ensure that it has left no stone unturned in its investigation.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck gave a long interview last week defending the club's actions - something that it is understood to have caused disquiet at the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO). The organisation believes the club should not have gone public over the issue before the FA had reached its conclusions.

Clattenburg himself has been shocked after finding himself and his family targeted by paparazzi. He strenuously denies the allegations.