Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli jokes Antonio Conte flipping middle finger was 'gesture of affection'

Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli jokes Antonio Conte flipping middle finger was 'gesture of affection'

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has joked Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte showing him his middle finger was a 'gesture of affection'

Agnelli and Conte clashed during the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final which ended in a 0-0 draw, meaning Juve progressed to the final after they won the earlier tie 2-1.

Conte appeared to stick his middle finger up at Agnelli at half-time and at the end of the game the ecstatic Juve chief raced from his seat down towards the Inter bench, and was heard shouting: 'f*** off, shut up you a***hole'.

The Italian FA announced they were launching an investigation into the incident last week but Agnelli has now played down the altercation.

'Every now and then the passion of our work makes us go over the line of good manners,' Agnelli told comedy show Striscia La Notizia.

The Juve president went on to claim: 'Collaboration with Conte ended well. Those were gestures of affection.'

The Inter boss, who worked Agnelli when he guided Juve to three titles between 2011 and 2014, admitted he had 'reacted to insults in the wrong way' and apologised to Agnelli for the gesture.

'I think it is right to clarify the episode that happened in the Juventus stadium. Everyone has seen and heard the truth, this is important to me.

'We can be footballers, coaches or presidents, but we are educational role models and we need to remember that.

'I'm here to apologise, I reacted to insults in the wrong way. I could have done it in another way, perhaps by raising my thumb instead of my middle finger.

'Insults are not a mitigating factor. However, I should have behaved differently.'

Inter are currently top of Serie A after going one point ahead of rivals AC Milan last weekend with the two teams set to play each other on Sunday. Juve currently trail Inter by eight points but have a game in-hand.

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