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Chelsea boss Conte accepts FA charge in referee row

London (AFP) – Chelsea coach Antonio Conte said Friday he intends to accept a Football Association charge of misconduct after he was sent off against Swansea City.

The Italian was ordered off the touchline and into the stands by referee Neil Swarbrick towards the end of the first half of Chelsea’s eventual 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Wednesday after protesting against the award of a Swansea goal-kick.

Conte apologised after the match to both Swarbrick and fourth official Lee Mason but that was not enough to prevent the FA charging the Blues boss on Thursday.   

The manager had until 1800 GMT Tuesday to respond to the charge but Conte has now indicated he will accept the punishment, which is expected to be a fine. 

“I think it’s right to accept and to pay the fine,” said Conte, speaking ahead of Chelsea’s league match at home to Newcastle on Saturday.

“I want to respect this decision and also to pay this fine,” he added.

But Conte, while accepting his punishment, said there were lessons Swarbrick could learn from the incident.

“I also want the referee to learn something about this. For me Swansea was wasting time,” Conte said Friday.

“In this case the referee has to try to protect the team that want to win, want to play football.

“I was angry because despite twice I said to the fourth official ‘look, because they are wasting a lot of time’. I shout this. I accept the decision of the referee.”

But the often animated Conte said he had no plans to change his emotional behaviour on the touchline.

“For what? For this? No,” he said.

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