The Football Association (FA) imposed a one-match ban on Thomas Tuchel but not Antonio Conte because the German was deemed to have instigated their clash after Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham.
A thrilling Premier League contest between the two London rivals on August 14 ended with tense scenes as head coaches Tuchel and Conte engaged in a confrontation.
The pair had rowed during the match and tempers flared again after the full-time whistle as Tuchel forcefully pulled Conte back towards him as they shook hands, sparking a melee.
Referee Anthony Taylor showed both Tuchel and Conte the red card.
Tuchel explained after the game that he perceived Conte’s lack of eye contact in the moment to be a show of disrespect.
The FA later announced both bosses had been fined after admitting charges of improper conduct and Tuchel was hit with a one-match touchline ban, which was suspended temporarily pending publication of the independent panel’s written reasons for the sanctions.
Those reasons were published on Tuesday, with the regulatory commission making clear its assessment that Tuchel was to blame for the spat.
Within the document, the FA panel said: “It was quite clearly TT [Tuchel] who instigated the confrontation between himself and AC [Conte] by choosing to grip AC’s hand and jolt him back after AC had passed him by.
“Had TT not gripped AC’s hand the confrontation between the two and the subsequent melee that followed would not have occurred.
“TT gripping AC’s hand for the reason he gave (AC did not look him in the eye) was simply not justifiable; cursory handshakes are a common occurrence at the end of highly charged football matches and there exists no obligation for one person to look the other in the eye whilst shaking hands.
“TT telling AC to look him in the eyes whilst gripping his hand and not allowing AC to move away was a highly provocative act; AC was unwillingly pulled, literally, into the confrontation with TT.
“AC did react aggressively to TT’s actions but the commission did not consider him to have hugely over-reacted given the circumstances.
“Whilst certain aspects of AC’s behaviour could be considered as being improper, indeed he admitted as much, the commission considered TT to be largely culpable for the incident and unanimously felt that this ought to be clearly and definitively reflected in the level of sanction imposed on TT and AC.”
Tuchel’s ban remains subject to appeal.