Why Antonio Conte is banned for Tottenham and who will be the manager vs Marseille in Champions League today

Why Antonio Conte is banned for Tottenham and who will be the manager vs Marseille in Champions League today

Antonio Conte will be absent as Tottenham face Marseille in a crunch Champions League game tonight.

Spurs are back at Europe's top table after a two-season absence and looked to have been handed a relatively easy group when drawn alongside Eintracht Frankfurt, Marseille and Sporting Lisbon.

It has not proved to be straightforward, though, as Group D will go down to the final matchday with all four teams still able to not only qualify for the knockout stages but also finish top, and Spurs will have to do it without their manager.

Here’s why.

 (AP)
(AP)

Why is Conte banned vs Marseille?

Spurs thought last week they had both qualification and top spot sewn up when Harry Kane scored a 95th-minute winner against Sporting, only for VAR to controversially rule it out for offside.

In the fallout, which saw wild Spurs celebrations quickly cut short, and then a four-minute wait for VAR to rule out the goal, manager Antonio Conte was sent off.

Players surrounded referee Danny Makkelie, and Conte then stepped onto the field to question the Dutchman.

What does the ban mean for Conte?

Conte will not only be banned from sitting in the dugout but also from the dressing room before, during and after the game due to UEFA's stricter stance.

In the Premier League, banned managers are usually only restricted from the dugout during games.

UEFA rules state: "A team manager/coach or other team official who is sent off or suspended from carrying out his function may not be in the technical area or communicate direction with the team’s players.

"In addition, a team manager/coach or any other team official who is suspended from carrying out his function may not enter the dressing room or tunnel before or during the match."

Asked for his thoughts, Conte told reporters: "It's a pity, especially because I didn't insult anyone, and [the red card was] only because I came on the pitch ... I think [the ban] is too much.

"I hope next time, what happened to me, other referees pay more attention or understand the emotional moments and make the best decision, which is a yellow card. If you book me with a yellow card, it's okay, you show me that [I] cannot come onto the pitch."

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Who will be in the dugout for Spurs?

Antonio Conte’s assistant head coach Cristian Stellini will lead the pre-match press conference on Monday evening and take charge of Tuesday’s game in Marseille. Conte could have conducted the press conference despite being banned, but decided not to.

Stellini has previous experience of stepping into the hot seat. Conte was in January 2021 banned for two matches while in charge of Inter Milan and Stellini subsequently oversaw wins over Benevento and Fiorentina, with his team scoring six goals and conceding none.

Ryan Mason, who has previously managed Spurs in a caretaker capacity and is now first-team coach, will help, along with Conte's brother Gianluca, who is a technical and analytics coach. Costantino Coratti and Stefano Bruno are also assistants to Conte, focusing on fitness.