Antonio Conte has played down controversy over the involvement of sponsors in funding his contract as Italy Coach.
The Lecce native today made official a two-year agreement to coach the Azzurri to the end of the European Championships of 2016.
Facing the media, questions were raised on the ethics behind having national team sponsors Puma fund a majority share of his supposed €4.1m base annual salary.
“This type of contract already exists for football players and other Coaches,” Conte began in response.
“Personally, I emphasise the words of the President when he says that to have a winning Coach is important for the Federation.
“My contract falls within the parameters of the Federation, and to meet them I gave them all my image rights, which in the past has never happened. So I gave up the money. There was great willingness on my part for this role.
“I think I have made great strides with the Federation in accepting this assignment. For me, the controversy over the contract will become a secondary thing. I want to begin to work and to follow this long path. For a certain type of question I will respond with facts.
“Will Puma interfere in squad selections? Nothing and nobody can force my decisions, if you know Antonio Conte you should know that.”