Antonio Conte ‘hates’ players who intimidate referees after Arsenal twice charged by FA

Antonio Conte ‘hates’ players who intimidate referees after Arsenal twice charged by FA

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte says he “hates” anyone who attempts to intimidate referees as Arsenal were twice charged by the FA for failing to control their players.

Against both Newcastle and Oxford United, Gunners players confronted the referee after seeing penalty appeals turned down. Replays of both incidents suggest the on-field decision was correct.

Asked about the Gunners' behaviour, Conte said it was paramount to respect the officials in such a significant game and added that he "hated" anyone who attempted to intimidate referees.

"In an important game like this, the respect is always at the top, OK?" Conte said. "You have to show respect in every situation and especially also with the referee because I know very well the difficult to be a referee, to take decisions.

Arsenal players confronting referee David Coote during the FA Cup win against Oxford United (AP)
Arsenal players confronting referee David Coote during the FA Cup win against Oxford United (AP)

"I think to intimidate or to create a bad atmosphere is not fair. I don’t like this. I hate the people that try to do it.

"Don’t forget that we are talking always about a game of football. Sometimes it happen in the emotion, I remember very well against Sporting Lisbon, we scored in the 95th minute and then we stayed five minutes to wait for the VAR decision.

"I was really upset but I never, never lacked the respect of the referee. Then, he sent me away because I went into the pitch but I think in every moment you have to show respect. Don’t forget this is football, an incredible sport and we have to respect each other."