Inter coach Antonio Conte apologised for making an insulting gesture towards the Juventus directors, even if he was ‘reacting to provocation.’
The Serie A fixture with Lazio kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.
However, before approaching the Lazio game, Conte wanted to make a statement about the ugly scenes – and others that were not on camera in the tunnel – between the coach and Juventus staff, including President Andrea Agnelli, following the Coppa Italia semi-final.
“I want to only talk about football during the press conference, so I will say this before we begin,” said Conte.
“I am here to apologise, because I reacted in the wrong way to being insulted. I could’ve reacted differently and that would’ve been more positive.”
Conte was caught on camera flipping the middle finger at the Juventus directors in the stands.
“I am sorry and I will learn from this for future reference. The insults and provocation should not be an excuse, because I still shouldn’t have responded like that.
“Everyone saw what happened in the Juventus Stadium, that is important to me. However, we as coaches, players and Presidents are meant to set an example and therefore I should’ve reacted to insults and provocation in a different way, perhaps with a thumbs up or applause, to show I could hear what was being said, but it would’ve been a more positive response.
“Having said all that, now we should concentrate on the game. People want to talk about football, not gossip.”