Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has criticised the Premier League for allowing his side’s North London derby last Sunday with Arsenal to be postponed due to injuries.
Conte was in bullish mood in front of the press on Tuesday and clearly had a bee in his bonnet about the call-off which came with the Gunners having some Covid-19 cases, but also having players out injured or at the African Cup of Nations.
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“The club [Tottenham] made a statement and I think that the club expressed our disappointment about the [Arsenal] decision,” Conte said.
“It was for sure a strange decision but I think the club made an important statement to tell about our disappointment for the decision.
“If the Premier League decides to postpone game for injuries it means they have to try to make the best schedule and reduce maybe to play games if they don’t want injuries or the risk to postpone for injuries.
“This is the first time in my life that there is a league that postpone the game for injuries.
“This is very strange and I’m very surprised for this.
“If someone has to think of the welfare of the players you have to play less games and especially you have to play games not [every] two days, three days. Otherwise do you speak about the welfare of the players? It is only an excuse or to tell something stupid in my opinion because you protect the players by giving them rest, to play and rest.
“But if you want only to play you can’t speak about the welfare of the players. It is very strange here.
“When there is the situation to play we have to play and not to postpone game for injuries, for international duty.
“I think that we have a big problem to solve that is Covid but only about this situation can you decide to postpone.
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“For other situations, honestly, this is the first time in my life and I think I have a bit of experience in football. To see this type of decision was very strange because this way everything can happen.”
Conte is also of the belief that double standards have been applied, with his team dumped out of European competition for the season due to the Premier League’s original refusal to postpone their Premier League game with Leicester City, meaning Spurs had were unable to rearrange their Europa Conference League group game with Rennes.
“It was a big damage to Tottenham from the Premier League,” Conte said.
“You have to protect your team and they penalised us in a bad way. We were penalised and from the Premier League not from UEFA.
“This is very strange and in this type of situation there is a big disappointment for us.
“But we can talk one hour here. We can talk one day. I understood that the situation is this and we have to accept but for sure there is a big disappointment for the decision that they are taking.’
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