Antonio Conte has responded to the growing number that have criticised his outburst about refereeing after Juventus’ midweek match in Parma.
After the 0-0 draw at the Ennio Tardini that saw the Bianconeri have two penalty claims turned down, Conte angrily suggested that referees were ‘too afraid’ to award the club spot-kicks this term.
A number of figures in the game have since questioned Conte’s choice of words, including Inter Coach Claudio Ranieri, Parma sporting director Pietro Leonardi and Coach Roberto Donadoni and weekend adversary Vincenzo Montella.
In his Friday address to the assembled Press, Conte took time to re-examine his initial outburst and made some readjustments and clarifications.
“I ask for forgiveness on what I said about Sebastian Giovinco,” he began, in light of claiming that the Juve-co-owned star had dived on Wednesday evening for a penalty claim at the other end of the pitch.
“My words were not right and therefore I apologise, but my outburst referred only to the game against Parma, and I vented calmly. In that game I saw a particular atmosphere and I just pointed it out.
“Parma also played a great game. We just need to score some goals. By analysing the statistical data, in fact, we know that our game is productive. It is when, in episodes, we do not find the goal. I’m sure against Catania we will be playing without the same conditions.
“We have grown up in a hurry. We have come to be regarded as challengers to Milan and this fills us with pride. We must now show that we can maintain a high level of competitiveness.
“What bothered me? As far as style and elegance are concerned, I don’t think I need to take lessons. Everyone has their own way of doing and being.
“Ranieri’s words? He finally says something that continues the discussion. He says that he hopes those who raise their voice don’t influence the referee designators.
“But then, Ranieri is afraid then that there are influences, so I then ask, are they there or not? His answer leaves the door open.”
The Coach, so far unbeaten in his Turin tenure, eventually turned his attention to the weekend’s home fixture with Catania.
“Tomorrow will be a beautiful game with Catania, the best team will win. But if there is a penalty in the 90th minute, in favour of Catania, it will be right that it is given, as it should be given in favour of Juventus, for the tranquillity and peace of all.
“I do not want to incite crowds. I spent my time as a player saying that I was indomitable but fair. Let’s leave the bar talk and just talk on the field and may the best team win.
“Then each can draw their conclusions, but my concepts are clear. I just want to stir up the Juve supporter to buy their ticket because we need their support at the Juventus Stadium.”