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I will never be suspended for match-fixing – Mourinho takes fresh swipe at Conte

mouconte - Cropped Jose Mourinho with Antonio Conte (source: Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho continued his public spat with Antonio Conte by bringing up past accusations that the Italian failed to report alleged match fixing.

Conte was implicated in a 2011 scandal while in charge of Siena and later served a four-month ban, but always denied any wrongdoing and was later acquitted by an Italian judge in May 2016. 

The Chelsea manager has been involved in back-and-forth verbal sparring with Mourinho, after it was suggested the Portuguese had aimed a dig at Conte when he said he prefers to act in a “mature” manner on the touchline, rather than “crazy” or like a “clown”.

Conte hit back on Friday by suggesting that Mourinho was suffering from memory loss and had himself in the past been guilty of exuberant antics on the sidelines.

And Mourinho, responding after United’s 2-0 FA Cup third-round win over Derby County at Old Trafford, took a fresh swipe.

“The only thing I want to say to end the story is that yes, I made mistakes in the past on the touchline,” he said.

“Yes, I will make less, but I think I will still make a few. What never happened to me and will never happen is to be suspended for match-fixing. That never happened to me and will never happen.”

Mourinho had initially appeared to try to cool the war of words by suggesting the media had taken his “clown” comments out of context when they were subsequently put to Conte for a reply.

He said: “Look, I don’t blame him. Honestly, I don’t blame him. 

“I think the press should apologise to me and to him because the question that comes to him is completely wrong and because of that he had that out-of-control reaction. But I don’t blame him at all.

“I was asked about my passion, and you know because most of you were in my press conference. I was speaking about myself, and then the question to the Chelsea manager was like I said that he behaves like a clown. 

“Probably the journalist wanted to say that but didn’t have the courage to say that, so he said that Mourinho said that you behave as a clown. So, I don’t blame the Chelsea manager at all and I understand his reaction.

“I was speaking about myself, saying that I don’t need to behave as a clown to show passion, that I control my emotions in a better way. 

“Everybody knows, I don’t need the Chelsea manager to say, that I made mistakes in the past and I will make in the future, hopefully. 

“I know that I celebrate goals running 50 metres, I celebrate goals sliding on my knees, I got celebrations jumping into the crowd. I’m not free of that, especially if we score a winning goal in a specific moment.”

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