New Italian National Football Coach Antonio Conte Shrugs Off Wages Controversy
New Italy coach Antonio Conte "brushed aside controversy over his wages, which will be part funded by the national federation's sponsors, when he was officially presented on Tuesday," according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. Conte said, "Nobody imposes anything on me. My eyes and those of my assistants will be the judge, not sponsors nor newspapers." The media "pointed out a possible conflict of interest" after the Italian federation (FIGC) said that "it had reached an agreement with sponsors, including sportswear manufacturers Puma, to help fund Conte's wages." Conte: "My contract falls within Italian federation parameters. There is a winning mentality and it's right for the FIGC to reach an agreement with the sponsors. Unlike my predecessors I have given up all my image rights." FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio said that "the agreement with the sponsors was a way of getting the federation out of a corner." He said, "This was borne out of sporting necessity and the economic reality. We couldn't get a leader like Conte at a low cost" (REUTERS, 8/19). The London GUARDIAN reported former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, "who has since joined Galatasaray, gave the new coach his support in a generous message." Prandelli: "I send my best wishes to Conte and I hope he gets the best results for the most important team in Italy, the Nazionale" (GUARDIAN, 8/19).