Fresh details have emerged surrounding the incident between Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge, with the two managers’ letters to the FA being released for the public to read. 

A heated affair between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur saw the London rivals share the points in a 2-2 draw on the second weekend of the new Premier League season.

With tensions high, Spurs boss Antonio Conte and Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel clashed at the final whistle (The Guardian). As the pair went to shake hands, Tuchel appeared to hold on to Conte longer than necessary, leading to the two managers squaring up.

After the incident, Tuchel claimed he felt disrespected by Conte’s apparent refusal to make eye contact with him during the handshake (Daily Mail).

Both managers have since been reprimanded by the FA for their actions. The FA Spokesperson revealed that Tuchel would be fined £35,000 and received a one-match touchline ban, while Conte was only fined £15,000.

The Independent Regulatory Commission has now released the letters both managers sent to the FA to give their version of events. The details were shared by Football.London, and give a good insight as to why the FA came to their decisions regarding punishments.

Conte’s letter said: “I would first like to apologise to the Commission for the events that happened after the game against Chelsea on Sunday which is not something I like being associated with, or seeing on a football field. For this reason, I have therefore admitted the charge of improper conduct.

“The referee blew the final whistle, I wanted to congratulate my players and acknowledge the away fans, as well as the home fans who I still hold with great affection after my time managing the club. So not to create any further unease between us I wanted to quickly shake hands and move on.

“I extended my hand towards him with the intention of briefly shaking his, however, he grabbed my hand and did not release his grip. Due to his very firm grip, my arm jarred causing me to be pulled backwards.

“I was both surprised and unhappy that such handshake caused me to be pulled back with such physical force. I did not overreact to this provocation and with the circumstances was proud of how I handled myself. Had I made any reaction then I understand the situation would have been much worse.”

Tuchel’s letter on the other hand stated: “At the end of the match I approached Mr Conte to shake his hand as an act of sportsmanship. Mr Conte took my hand but did not look at me and I considered his demeanour to be a sign of disrespect towards me.

“I, therefore, held on to his hand as he walked past me and told him to look me in the eyes when he shakes my hand.

“Mr Conte replied in Italian and acted very aggressively towards me. I did not react to his aggression and did not say anything insulting to him.

“I acknowledge that I could and should have dealt with Mr Conte’s conduct towards me in a more appropriate manner (for example, by speaking to him privately afterwards). I apologise to The FA and to the Regulatory Commission, for having to bring and consider the charge.”

The report from the Commission decided “it was quite clearly Tuchel who instigated the confrontation between himself and Conte by choosing to grip the latter’s hand and jolt him back after he had passed him by.”

Spurs Web Opinion

It’s very interesting to see the two different sides to the story here, but both accounts make it pretty clear that it was indeed Thomas Tuchel who was responsible for inciting the confrontation at the end of the match. With that in mind, the punishments handed out to the two managers seem fair.

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