Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has opened up on the time Chelsea's midfielder John Obi Mikel 'swung' for him and threatened to break his legs.
The 48-year-old last officiated in the Premier League in 2016 before stints refereeing in Saudi Arabia and China.
He was discussing the treatment of referees in light of recent incidents involving Aleksandar Mitrovic and Bruno Fernandes that have been in the headlines.
The Football Association have been called upon to protect referees; although Clattenburg has revealed he didn't get much protection in this incident at Stamford Bridge, recalling the tough situaiton he once found himself in after Chelsea game.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Clattenburg said: "Chelsea’s John Mikel Obi once swung at me in the referee’s room at Stamford Bridge.
"He screamed he wanted to break my legs and was being held back by Roberto Di Matteo and Eddie Newton.
"In the end, Mikel only received a three-match ban for that incident.
"I thought, ‘Are the FA taking the p***? He should be banned for the rest of the season, if not more.'"
Clattenburg was discussing the sending off of Fulham striker Mitrovic against Manchester United at the weekend.
The Serbian striker was shown a straight red card after pushing referee Chris Kavanagh, who had just sent off Mitrovic's teammate Willian for a handball on the line. Many have called for Mitrovic's ban to be extended to send a message to other players about treatment of referees.
Clattenburg added: "Mitrovic wasn’t as aggressive as Mikel, but he got physical with Kavanagh. The FA may now use him to set an example to others.
"Referees need to be respected at the highest level because if they aren’t, that impacts what happens at the lowest level."