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Antonio Conte escapes touchline ban for Chelsea fracas; Tuchel suspended one match


Chelsea FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Before it all went wrong...
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

A Football Association disciplinary panel issued its judgement on Tottenham Hotspur head coach Antonio Conte and Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel following the dust-up the two had after the final whistle of last Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge. Both managers were issued red cards by match official Anthony Taylor after squaring up to each other during the post-match handshake.

The decision is good news for Conte — the panel’s ruling stated that Conte will NOT face an enforced absence for this weekend’s match between Tottenham and Wolves, but Tuchel was slapped with a one-match touchline ban for his role in the incident.

Both managers were issued fines — £35k for Tuchel, £15k for Conte. Tuchel is appealing his ban.

Here is the full statement from the FA’s disciplinary committee which examined the incident:

“An independent Regulatory Commission has today ordered that Thomas Tuchel be fined £35,000 and banned from the touchline for one match, and Antonio Conte be fined £15,000 after they respectively breached FA Rule E3. Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte admitted that their behaviour after the final whistle of the Premier League game between Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC on Sunday 14 August 2022 was improper, and both managers requested a paper hearing.

“These sanctions are subject to appeal, and Thomas Tuchel’s one match touchline ban has been suspended temporarily pending the independent Regulatory Commission’s written reasons for its decisions that will be made available in due course.”

So I was today years old when I learned that Premier League managers who receive red cards as part of a match aren’t necessarily subject to automatic touchline bans in the same way players were. This came out in tweets from Dan Kilpatrick and others earlier in the day which also noted that the commission was due to issue a ruling sometime this afternoon. Seems weird, but that’s in the rules, I guess?

The upshot of this decision is that the FA disciplinary committee doesn’t think that Conte really did much of anything wrong. While he certainly could’ve moderated his response to Tuchel’s... robust handshake, this would seem to indicate the committee thinks the post-match fracas was mostly instigated by Tuchel. That feels pretty obvious to me as a Spurs fan when you watch the footage embedded above, but I believe I can say with absolute certainty that Chelsea fans won’t agree.

It’s also possible that Tuchel’s harsher sentence has in part to do with his pretty blatant criticism of Taylor’s officiating in the post-match interview; it was previously noted that he was also under investigation for those comments, though it’s not clear whether these disciplinary actions include those charges or if there’s possibly further disciplinary action coming down the pipe for the Chelsea manager. Tuchel’s appeal means that he’ll also be managing this weekend, but if the ban is upheld, he’ll serve that suspension later on.

This is a Tottenham Hotspur blog, and thus it is my sworn and serious duty to tell everyone reading these words that this is absolutely freakin’ hilarious. Conte will have to write a fairly big check to the FA, but he’ll be on the sidelines wildly gesticulating and screaming as per normal when Spurs kick off at home against Wolves tomorrow.