Monday, January 17, 2022

Antonio Conte: Tottenham is ‘confident’ in its ability to overcome UEFA’s ‘amazing’ Conference League verdict

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On Tuesday, Antonio Conte accused UEFA of disrespect, with Tottenham hopeful of overturning the decision to expel them from the Europa League. Conte claimed ‘personal interests’ may have led to the club being compelled to forfeit their last group game against Rennes in an attack on European football’s regulatory body.

About the Decision

The match, originally planned for December 9, was postponed owing to a Covid outbreak at Tottenham, and they were automatically eliminated from the competition after a 3-0 defeat by UEFA.

The team was mulling legal action, according to the sources on Tuesday. The next step would be to appeal the verdict to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and Conte stated that they are planning to do so in response to an “amazing” decision.

“The world knows we were facing a big problem like Covid,” said Conte ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against West Ham.

“We didn’t play, not through our fault but because we had many players with Covid and the Government decided to stop our training sessions and close our center.”

“UEFA took this decision and then there’s another step to confirm or not this incredible decision.”

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“I’m very disappointed with UEFA because everybody knows the problem. It means maybe someone doesn’t know the problem we were having and maybe some personal interests (were behind the decision).”

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What Conte Has to Say

Asked about the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Conte continued: “We are all confident because I think you receive punishment if you deserve it. But we prepared for the game against Rennes. We did everything to play the game.”

“But if someone else stops you for an important reason — a Covid reason — then I don’t understand why Tottenham has to pay for this situation.”

“This is unfair and for sure, we will fight against this decision because we want to play. We want to play the qualification on the pitch. If we don’t win (against Rennes), it’s right to go out of this competition. We deserve to play the qualification on the pitch.”

“The players ask me why. The players are very, very disappointed in this decision. Tottenham started to play in this competition from this summer and now it’s unfair for a decision that is not in our hands.”

To tell Tottenham, “Thanks very much, you went here, here and here, but now you lose 3-0”.

“We honored the competition to play and to go around Europe. But now UEFA is taking a decision that we don’t like.”

It shows a lack of regard for our profession. It’s not right. We are optimistic that something will change in the future because the players, fans, and club all want the qualification to take place on the pitch rather than on the court.’

In better news, Conte stated that Tottenham is officially Covid-free after two weeks of turmoil that saw three fixtures — the game against Rennes, as well as Premier League, matches against Brighton and Leicester — postponed.

‘All the players are available,’ Conte said. ‘They have recovered from Covid and we have all the players now negative.’

Conte, on the other hand, is concerned about the impact of the players’ Covid treatment, claiming that they are not entirely fit following their isolation.

Chris Kavanagh, the VAR for Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Sunday, who did not show Harry Kane a red card for his lunge on Andy Robertson, will be the referee for Wednesday’s match.

West Ham manager David Moyes said ahead of the game that the Premier League is his first aim. The Hammers haven’t won a major trophy since the 1980 FA Cup, but they’re now second in the table, and Moyes is determined to improve on last season’s sixth-place finish.

He said: “I’d love to win a trophy with West Ham but I wouldn’t like to win the League Cup and find myself struggling at the bottom.”

“The cup competitions are hugely important but I still see league football as what your job is to do.”

Read: The match between Leicester and Tottenham has been postponed due to Covid-19

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