English Premiership

Conte laughs off points deduction claim

2016-12-12 09:46
Antonio Conte (Gallo Images)

London - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on Sunday dismissed questions about whether his side might be docked Premier League points after the Blues and Manchester City were charged with failing to control their players during their game on December 3.

A Football Association appeals board in July, after previous incidents, told Chelsea: "The time cannot be too far distant when ... the only proper sanction is a points deduction."

City midfielder Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero were sent off during their Premier League game against Manchester City following the incident and reporters asked Conte whether the points deduction threat might be acted on.

"Are you joking? Are you joking?" he replied.

Chelsea have been fined five times by the FA for failing to control their players since February last year.

Manchester City and Chelsea, at the end of the game, my players tried to keep their calm. I don't understand this. I repeat, I don't understand this," Conte said after his side's 1-0 win over West Bromich Albion on Sunday.

"We are trying to improve in all aspects. For this reason I reply: You must be joking. You must be honest and understand which team is at fault," he said. "We had a bad record in the past, but now we are different."

The Premier League leaders were fined £375,000 following charges prompted by incidents in their 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in May. An appeals board reduced the fine, but spoke about the club's "lamentable recent record for failing properly to control its players."

The FA commission said Chelsea's record was "abysmal" and "there is a recidivist nature to the club's offending," but added that "a final warning" was required before "more draconian penalties" could be considered.

Meanwhile Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted that it would be difficult to stop Conte's men from winning the title as they are ruthlessly winning consecutive games.

The Blues next face a struggling Sunderland side where they will be hoping to extend their lead at the summit of the league standings.

Kick off is at 21:45.

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31 January 2017
Arsenal v Watford, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Swansea City v Southampton, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Middlesbrough v West Bromwich Albion, Riverside Stadium 21:45
Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur, Stadium of Light 21:45
Burnley v Leicester City, Turf Moor 21:45
AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace, Vitality Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v Chelsea, Anfield 22:00
01 February 2017
West Ham United v Manchester City, London Stadium 21:45
Stoke City v Everton, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v Hull City, Old Trafford 22:00
04 February 2017
Chelsea v Arsenal, Stamford Bridge 14:30
Everton v AFC Bournemouth, Goodison Park 17:00
Hull City v Liverpool, Kingston Communications Stadium 17:00
Crystal Palace v Sunderland, Selhurst Park 17:00
Southampton v West Ham United, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City, The Hawthorns 17:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Middlesbrough, White Hart Lane 19:30
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