Antonio Conte has been suspended for one UEFA game, meaning he will miss Tottenham’s all-important clash against Marseille next week. His sending-off came moments after Harry Kane’s supposed winning goal against Sporting Lisbon was ruled out by a controversial VAR decision that adjudged the forward to be offside.
A win would’ve guaranteed Spurs’ qualification for the knockout rounds, but a point a-piece means that they still have work to do in Group D. They will be without their head coach in France next week, though, as a furious Conte was dismissed in the closing moments of the game in north London.
As per The Athletic, the extent of his punishment is a one-match UEFA ban.
“At the end, because all the people come into the pitch and then the referee decided to send me off,” he told football.london in his post-match press conference. “Only for this. I think there are moments that maybe you can be a bit intelligent to understand you have just disallowed a regular goal because the goal was regular. The ball is in front of Kane. And then the VAR.
“I repeat, you know I don’t comment on referee decisions, but the VAR, this season, I don’t know why between Premier League and Champions League, we are not so lucky. I don’t know why until now, we are also the only team who repeated the penalty, and for every penalty I go to see, if the keeper move on line, I see a lot of the time. I want to see the repetition of a penalty in the Premier League. I think we are not so lucky with VAR but I think they create big damage.
“I would like to see if this type of decision you can take with a top team in an important game, yeah I would like to see if VAR is so brave to take this decision. I repeat this unfair decision because the ball is in front of Kane. Sorry, but I am really upset because sometimes you can accept this situation, and sometimes I think it is not good because I don’t see honesty in this type of situation, and when I see this, I become really, really upset.”
His absence from the touchline for the Marseille clash is a huge blow for Spurs. The Lilywhites only need a point to guarantee qualification, but three points will ensure that they finish as group winners.