Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte’s letters to the independent regulatory commission have been released, along with their reasoning for handing the Chelsea head coach a ban.
The pair were involved in an altercation after the full-time whistle in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month.
Tuchel appeared to hold onto Conte’s arm during a handshake at the full-time whistle, before the pair were surrounded by players and backroom staff during a heated exchange.
Tuchel was handed a suspended touchline ban subject to the written reasoning from the independent regulatiro commission, which has now been published.
This allowed the German to be present on the touchline as Chelsea lost 3-0 to Leeds United, while Conte will not serve a suspension.
As revealed by Alasdair Gold, both head coaches’ letters to the commission have also been made public, along with the reasoning.
What was said?
Antonio Conte’s letter:
“I would first like to apologise to the Commission for the events that happened after the game against Chelsea on Sunday which is not something I like being associated with, or seeing on a football field. For this reason I have therefore admitted the charge of improper conduct.
"The referee blew the final whistle, I wanted to congratulate my players and acknowledge the away fans, as well as the home fans who I still hold with great affection after my time managing the club…so not to create any further unease between us I wanted to quickly shake hands and move on.
"I extended my hand towards him with the intention of briefly shaking his, however he grabbed my hand and did not release his grip. Due to his very firm grip my arm jarred causing me to be pulled backwards. I was both surprised and unhappy that such handshake caused me to be pulled back with such physical force. I did not over-react to this provocation and with the circumstances was proud of how I handled myself. Had I made any reaction then I understand the situation would have been much worse."
Thomas Tuchel’s letter:
"At the end of the match I approached Mr Conte to shake his hand as an act of sportsmanship. Mr Conte took my hand but did not look at me and I considered his demeanour to be a sign of disrespect towards me. I therefore held on to his hand as he walked past me and told him to look me in the eyes when he shakes my hand.
"Mr Conte replied in Italian and acted very aggressively towards me. I did not react to his aggression and did not say anything insulting to him. I acknowledge that I could and should have dealt with Mr Conte’s conduct towards me in a more appropriate manner (for example, by speaking to him privately afterwards). I apologise to The FA and to the Regulatory Commission, for having to bring and consider the charge."
“It was quite clearly Tuchel who instigated the confrontation between himself and Conte by choosing to grip the latter's hand and jolt him back after he had passed him by.
"Had he not gripped Conte's hand the confrontation between the two and the subsequent melee that followed would not have occurred. Tuchel gripping Conte's hand for the reason he gave was simply not justifiable. Cursory handshakes are a common occurrence at the end of highly-charged football matches and there exists no obligation for one person to look the other in the eye whilst shaking hands.
"Tuchel telling Conte to look him in the eyes whilst gripping his hand and not allowing Conte to move away was a highly provocative act. Conte was unwillingly pulled, literally, into the confrontation with Tuchel. Conte did react aggressively to those actions but the commission did not consider him to have hugely over-reacted given the circumstances.
"Conte did remain irate after he had extricated himself from Tuchel’s grip and others had separated the two. Conte appears to enter into a brief but heated verbal exchange with the Chelsea player, Cesar Azpilicueta, before leaving the pitch. The confrontation between Tuchel and Conte caused a mass gathering of staff, players and stewards that could easily have escalated the situation.
"Whilst certain aspects of Conte's behaviour could be considered as being improper, indeed he admitted as much, the commission considered Tuchel to be largely culpable for the incident and unanimously felt that this ought to be clearly and definitively reflected in the level of sanction imposed on them.
"Both made written apologies and admitted the charges. Conte had one admitted charge on his previous five year disciplinary record but this was nearly five years ago, back in November 2017.
"The commission felt that the above sanctions reflected the seriousness of the behaviour of both Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte during the incident but also reflected that the former was significantly more culpable than the latter in respect to causation."
The committee decided to fine Conte £15,000 and hand Tuchel a £35,000 fine, along with a one-game touchline ban.
This means that, as things stand, the head coach will not be present on the sidelines as Chelsea face Leicester City on Saturday, with the Blues looking to bounce back from defeat at Leeds.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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