Italian national soccer headcoach Antonio Conte . / AFP / CHRISTOF STACHE
Antonio Conte has slammed claims that Chelsea could be hit with a points deduction as punishment for their role in an explosive brawl with title rivals Manchester City.
Both Chelsea and City have been charged by the Football Association for failing to control their players following the ruckus that marred the closing moments of a 3-1 win for Conte’s side at Eastlands last weekend.
City’s Sergio Aguero was dismissed for an ugly lunge on Chelsea defender David Luiz, sparking a bench-clearing row between players and coaches from each team that ended with Fernandinho red carded for pushing Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
Just last season, Chelsea were warned about the future conduct of their players when they appealed against a fine imposed for their part in an ill-tempered London derby with Tottenham.
The Sunday Mirror says their latest clash could prompt the FA to hand Chelsea a points deduction for bad player behaviour for the first time since 1990 when Manchester United and Arsenal were punished following a mass brawl.
That would be a major blow to Chelsea’s chances of holding onto their lead at the top of the Premier League and Blues boss Conte was scathing when asked about the situation following Sunday’s 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.
“Are you joking? For me, if you are involved in a situation and the fault is not yours, you must pay? Why? I don’t understand this,” Conte said.
“After the game you can see very clear my players try to keep calm.
“You must be honest to understand when there is a fault, with both teams or one team.