Antonio Conte has launched a scathing attack on the level of refereeing in the Champions League, questioning whether UEFA officials had been ‘honest’ after his side were denied an injury-time winner and the Italian was subsequently fired.
Conte will say later that the Var officials were mistaken. In the protests that followed he was sent off, but it was his comments about the UEFA referees that could lead to disciplinary action.
Conte will be banned from the touchline when Spurs take on Marseille on Tuesday. A draw will be enough for them to advance to Group D which is so finely balanced that any of the four, including Eintracht Frankfurt and Sporting, can reach the knockout stages with wins on the final day. Rodrigo Bentancur scored a second-half equalizer for Spurs after their former player Marcus Edwards put Sporting ahead.
In his post-match press conference, Conte said: “Sometimes you can accept this situation. I don’t see the honesty in this kind of situation. [this game]. When I don’t see that, I get really, really upset.
He told BT Sport on his sending off: “The red card – all the people come in after the decision to refuse and then they come and give me a red card because I’m the most popular person on the pitch.”
Speaking about the red card during his press conference, he said: “I think there are times when maybe you can be a bit smart and understand that he just disallowed a regular goal because the goal The ball is in front of Kane and then Var – you know I’m not commenting on the referee’s decision – but with Var, between the Premier League and the Champions League, we don’t have that chance. , we are the only team to have repeated a penalty [had to take a penalty twice, when Leicester retook their spot-kick].”
He added: “I think we are not so lucky with Var. It creates a lot of damage. I would like to see if they can make that kind of decision with a top team in an important game. I would like to see if the Var is brave enough to make this decision. Because the ball is in front of Kane. I’m sorry but I’m really upset.
Speaking to BT Sport earlier, he had questioned the accuracy of the lines drawn on screen by Var officials. He said: “I think the ball was in front of Kane and the goal is a goal. I don’t understand the line they put. [on the screen]. It is very difficult to comment on this decision. The Var does a lot of damage. I want to see if in another stadium of a big team if they are ready to ban this type of goal. I would like to know that.
“A lot of injustice. I don’t like this kind of situation. I don’t see positive things. The second half was positive and we played with great intensity. We deserved to win but we know what happened. I don’t understand why we have to get something from the next game when we can finish the qualification in this game. When you invent this type of situation, you create a lot of damage to the club. Also, problems. “
Matt Doherty said Spurs players didn’t understand the decision. He said: “I think you can see from the celebrations that we thought we won it. I don’t really know what happened in the end. I thought because he went back and hit a defender, that was a different phase of play. I’ll have to check the rulebook. A few of us have no idea what happened.
“If we’re honest, we didn’t play so well. They canceled us out in the first half and deserved to be ahead. We’re top of the group. That’s not how we wanted the evening goes by, but it’s still in our hands.”
Antonio Conte was a picture of calm – until Var intervened
By Thom Gibbs
“Control yourself” were the words blasted from loud speakers after the final whistle, a message delivered via a 15-year-old pop song. By then it was too late for Antonio Conte, who was coming down the tunnel in stoppage time after being shown a red card. Maybe he should start listening to Kids by MGMT before games.
He spent much of that smoldering 1-1 draw in an uncharacteristically deadpan state, perhaps acknowledging that when a side look as wobbly as their Spurs, now is not the time. for managerial histrionics. They had worked horribly in the first half against Sporting Lisbon, trailing 1-0 at the break.
The boos came after a clog from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg landed straight into the hands of Sporting goalkeeper Adan, then again after a promising free kick was wasted and ended with Son falling Heung min. He seemed to prefer doing another South Korean military service.
Everything changes in the second half. Sports director Ruben Amorim was often unable to watch, crouching in a kind of depressed thinker pose, staring at the Desso GrassMaster hybrid turf.
Spurs worked hard to get back to parity, then appeared to win it to the death when the entire team except Hugo Lloris rushed in, knowing it would be their last attack. Harry Kane scored and knocked the house down.
Here’s the Conte we anticipated, the man whose expected grunt stat before any game is always in the double digits. As he celebrated Kane’s apparent victor, he dove straight into his assistant’s chest, his entire body expressing joyous release.
Then the stadium was plunged into a vacuum. For all of Var’s incredibly tedious controversies and the incredibly tedious hand twists about those controversies, there’s no denying that Var have added a new level of highly confected drama to football.
It might not be to your liking, just as many of us would rather eat drink than watch Love Island, but it’s new. Once the stadium was set up, it became clear that the players had stood still for too long. Something was happening. The Var check announced itself with groans. Then, during a long wait for closure (who are they communicating with? Jupiter?), there was this new noise, the extended, tense Var control noise. A sort of high-pitched hum that is half hope, half terror, half mania.
When she finally arrived, the decision was not in Tottenham’s direction. Emerson Royal was ruled offside on the return to Kane. Conte shouted at the officials, he crossed the sacred limits of his technical domain, he wandered furiously on the field. He was sent off, becoming the only person to receive a red card in the Premier League and Champions League this season. Not bad for a manager.
At least he didn’t miss much. The ball remained in play for 0.1 seconds after Sporting took the resulting free kick. At the end of the match, Eric Dier barked at referee Danny Makkelie’s useless smile: “It’s gone backwards”, referring to Royal’s header at Kane. Nobody knows the rules of football, not really. They are transmitted from generation to generation in a sort of hazy jumble of clichés, a drunken story of laws and regulations.
The direction in which the ball moves has never been relevant for offside, it is the position of the player receiving the pass that matters, their whole body must be behind it when it is played. Kane’s might not be, but that didn’t matter if the offense was indeed Royal’s. We may never know. A mystery shrouded in an enigma wrapped in a wizard’s flag.
After the match, Conte took a question at length, then walked out of his own press conference before saying or doing anything else he would regret. Sporting director Amorim spoke excellent, if slightly contradictory, English. When asked what he thought of the Var, he accidentally summed it up perfectly. “I like it because it’s fair. Most of the time. I know there are sometimes a lot of problems. But for me, it’s fine. »