Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has continued his feud with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte by saying he will never be “suspended for match fixing”.
Conte received a four-month suspension while at Juventus in the 2012-13 season for failing to report match fixing at his previous club Siena.
In 2016, the Italian was cleared by a court of any wrong-doing in the matter.
Mourinho’s comments came after Conte had accused the Portuguese of forgetting his own antics in the past.
Conte had reacted angrily this week to Mourinho’s assertion that he did not need to act like a “clown” in his technical area, saying: “I think he has to see himself in the past – maybe he was speaking about himself in the past.”
Speaking after his side’s 2-0 FA Cup third-round win over Derby, Mourinho said the “clown” comments were not directed at Conte.
But he added: “The only thing I want to say to end the story is that yes, I made mistakes in the past on the touchline. Yes, I will make less but I think I will still make a few.
“What never happened to me – and will never happen – is to be suspended for match fixing. That never happened to me and will never happen.”
Mourinho was then told by a journalist that Conte has been charged by football authorities in the past with failing to report match fixing.
“Did he? Not me,” the United boss replied.
‘If you want to fight me I am ready’
On Friday, speaking before United’s win over Derby, Conte reacted to Mourinho – who has managed Chelsea twice, winning three Premier League titles across two spells at Stamford Bridge.
“There is a person that continues to look here. You understand? He went away, but he continued to look here,” said Conte, who won the title last season with the Blues.
“I am starting to be a bit annoyed. If you want to go to fight with me I am ready. I am improving a bit my English, because this is the real problem for me, otherwise we can go, we can go to fight.
“I’m ready to fight for me, for my players, for the club, with everyone. I have no problem.”
But Mourinho denied that he had aimed the comments at Conte.
“I don’t blame the Chelsea manager at all. I understand his reaction. I was speaking about myself,” he said.
“I was saying I don’t need to behave as a clown to show passion, that I control my emotions in a better way.”
Best of enemies – a history of confrontation
- 19 October 2017: Conte says Mourinho needs to “look at himself” and stop talking about his former side
- 29 July 2017: Conte says that he must avoid “a Mourinho season” as the champions attempt to defend their Premier League title.
- 14 March 2017: Mourinho tells Chelsea fans “I’m still number one” after being heckled during his side’s FA Cup loss at Stamford Bridge
- 12 February 2017: Conte says he does not like Mourinho’s “joking” after the Manchester United boss said Chelsea cannot be caught because they are a “defensive team”
- 23 October 2016: Conte says he was “not mocking anyone” after appearing to antagonise Mourinho in Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge