Tuchel upset at Conte punishment after clash

Thomas Tuchel has questioned why Antonio Conte received a smaller punishment than him after the pair’s bust-up when Chelsea drew 2-2 with Tottenham at Stamford Bridge earlier this month.

Both managers were sent off by referee Anthony Taylor after the final whistle following the second of two heated confrontations which began in the aftermath of Spurs’ two goals.

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The second goal, a 96th-minute equaliser, occurred moments after Tottenham’s Cristian Romero escaped censure for pulling Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella‘s hair as the pair jostled at a corner.

On Friday afternoon, Tuchel’s appeal against a one-match touchline ban was dismissed by the Football Association, meaning he’ll be absent from the touchline when Chelsea host Leicester City on Saturday.

The Chelsea boss was also handed a £35,000 fine, while Conte was only given a £15,000 fine and no touchline ban.

Focusing on the final incident at full-time, the FA’s independent regulatory commission stated in its report that Tuchel “quite clearly instigated the confrontation” with Conte through a forceful handshake in which the 48-year-old chose “to grip [Conte’s] hand and jolt him back after [Conte] had passed him by.”

“Had TT not gripped AC’s hand the confrontation between the two and the subsequent melee that followed would not have occurred,” the report added.

Speaking before the decision on his appeal was handed down, Tuchel said he expected the ban to be upheld but still argued his case in relation to Conte’s more modest treatment.

“My understanding was that we both had our impact in this situation and both got sent off,” Tuchel told a news conference on Friday.

“I can understand that I get a ban, I get a fine. What I don’t understand is that the other coach does not get the same punishment.

“I think there are two sides to it. The one side is that I got the red card and behaved in a way which is not appropriate and which I regret, but it was out of passion. I can accept if I get a red card during the match, if this is the decision, I have a touchline ban and am fined. This is one side to it, I don’t dispute it and accept it.

“What’s hard to accept is the context. I don’t think I started the aggression, it started earlier. I don’t think I was the only person involved, we both got a red card. A player pulled another player by their hair two minutes earlier. He can play on, he is not banned. For a firm handshake at the end of the match, one coach is banned. This is very hard to accept but I have accept it. Putting it into context, I cannot understand.

“I don’t think [I will be on the touchline against Leicester] but it’s not 100% sure. We are waiting for the response.

“I think I can do the same as always, arrive in the stadium, be in the changing room for sure. I cannot be on the sideline it seems, but we need to wait for the final answer because we responded to the written charge. We are waiting for the answer [on Friday]. I think I can be not on the sideline but in the dressing room and at half-time.”

Tuchel is also yet to find out the extent of his punishment after the FA charged him with improper conduct relating to comments he made about Taylor’s officiating after the games against Tottenham on Aug. 14, claiming “the whole dressing room” is concerned when he referees Chelsea matches.

“In the future, there is no comment from me,” Tuchel said.

“I will not comment anymore on any referee’s decisions. No matter how big it is, this is obviously what we want and what you get.”

Tuchel also confirmed that N’Golo Kante will be sidelined for “four weeks plus” with a hamstring injury.

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