Mark Clattenburg is facing the prospect of a police and Football Association investigation into allegations he used "inappropriate language" towards Chelsea stars John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata.
Clattenburg has been accused by the European champions of making offensive comments, which are understood to have been interpreted as racist, during their acrimonious Barclays Premier League defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
Chelsea lodged a formal complaint with the match delegate that saw the FA announce an investigation and Clattenburg stood down from officiating for a week. However the police then became involved after the Society of Black Lawyers demanded they look into whether a criminal offence had been committed.
The man behind the mooted black players' breakaway union, Peter Herbert, sent a letter to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), which read: "The Society of Black Lawyers wishes to record the incident that took place at Chelsea FC.
"Our information is that racist remarks were directed at John Mikel Obi and at Juan Mata. If so, that is wholly unacceptable in any circumstances.