Juve coach sparks controversy with post-match celebration

ROME Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:08am IST

Juventus coach Antonio Conte (L), goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (C) and Andrea Pirlo celebrate at the end of their Italian Serie A soccer match against Bologna at Renato Dall'Ara stadium in Bologna March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Giorgio Benvenuti

Juventus coach Antonio Conte (L), goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (C) and Andrea Pirlo celebrate at the end of their Italian Serie A soccer match against Bologna at Renato Dall'Ara stadium in Bologna March 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Giorgio Benvenuti

ROME (Reuters) - Juventus coach Antonio Conte caused controversy after the Serie A leaders' 2-0 win at Bologna on Saturday by waving his arms and shouting "come on" to the crowd after having insults hurled at him during the game.

As the teams walked off the pitch, Bologna coach Stefano Pioli called to the Juve staff to be respectful.

"I thought Conti's celebrations were a bit exaggerated because they weren't aimed only at his own fans but also ours," said Pioli. "I told him that and it ended there without any problems."

Conte responded in a post-match interview by asking why there was not more focus on hooligans instead of his actions.

"If I can't celebrate with my fans after a win that is a fundamental stepping stone towards our objective (of lifting the title), then tell me what I can do?" he said.

"Why don't we focus on the people throwing stones, or people with children swearing at me. Why don't we show them? Maybe they might be ashamed of themselves.

"I'm not ashamed to celebrate, I celebrate now and in the future I'll celebrate when I want with my own fans. What is the problem? Why is it a problem?"

Juve's win, thanks to second-half goals from Mirko Vucinic and Claudio Marchisio, put them 12 points clear of second-placed Napoli, who host Atalanta on Sunday.

(Writing by Terry Daley in Rome, Editing by Ken Ferris)

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