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Conte apologises for reacting to Juventus ‘provocaton’

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Inter Milan’s Italian coach Antonio Conte gives instructions during the Italian Cup semifinal second leg football match beetween Juventus Turin and Inter Milan on February 9, 2021 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)

Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte apologised on Saturday for “reacting badly to provocation” in the midweek Italian Cup match at Juventus.

Ex-Juve boss Conte appeared to show the finger to his former club’s directors at half-time, while footage from broadcaster RAI at the end of the match showed the hosts’ chairman Andrea Agnelli apparently telling Conte to “shut up”.

“The truth, everyone has seen it,” said Conte, who led Juve to three Serie A titles, on the eve of Inter’s league match against Lazio.

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“Players, coaches, presidents, we have to set an example in education.

“I’m sorry. I apologise. I reacted badly to a provocation. I could have reacted better, with an applause or a thumbs-up. I will remember it.”

The images of Tuesday’s incident are not clear enough to show the exact nature of Conte’s half-time tirade nor precisely their target, although they certainly appeared to be in the direction the Juve contingent.

The same is true of Agnelli’s utterances at the end of the match as he left the stand.

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However, they are the subject of an investigation by the Italian Federation.

Conte returns to the bench on Sunday for the Lazio match, having been banished to the stands for the two previous games and fined 20,000 euros ($24,000) for verbally threatening the referee after Inter were held to a 0-0 draw by Udinese.

Inter are second in Serie A standings, two points behind city rivals AC Milan.

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