Jose Mourinho Fires Back at Antonio Conte with Match-Fixing Comment

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2018

Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho gestures during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, England, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
Dave Thompson/Associated Press

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho showed little desire to cool his ongoing feud with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, alluding in a press conference to Conte's alleged involvement the match-fixing scandal at Siena. 

"The only way I want to end the story is yes I made mistakes in the past on the touchline and yes I will make less but I'll still make a few," Mourinho said Friday after United defeated Derby County 2-0 in the FA Cup, per ESPN.com's Rob Dawson. "What has never happened to me and will never happen is to be suspended for match fixing. That never happened to me and it will never happen."

Mourinho was responding to comments made by Conte about the Portuguese's mental fitness.

According to the Guardian's David Hytner, Mourinho said he didn't have to "behave as a clown on the touchline" in order to show his passion during matches. Conte found the statement hypocritical given Mourinho's past reputation:

"I think that he has to see himself in the past—maybe he was speaking about himself in the past, yeah? Maybe sometimes I think that someone forgets what they said in the past or which is his behaviors and sometimes I think there is, I don’t know the name, demenza senile, when you are a bit [Conte taps his temple]—when you forget what you do in the past."

Hytner noted the phrase "demenza senile" would translate from Italian to senile dementia.

Mourinho's reference to Conte's match-fixing suspension will likely warrant another response from his rival.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) initially suspended Conte for 10 months in August 2012, alleging he failed to properly report match-fixing that occurred during the 2010-11 Serie B season. Conte managed Siena to a second-place finish in the league that year.

Conte's suspension was reduced to four months upon appeal, and a judge formally cleared him of any wrongdoing during a match-fixing trial in May 2016.

Manchester United and Chelsea will meet again in the Premier League on Feb. 25, and the touchline interactions between Mourinho and Conte will be one of the biggest storylines heading into the game.

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