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Bari coach Conte: Thugs won't keep me away from Lecce

Bari coach Antonio Conte says he won't be frightened away from his hometown after Lecce fans attacked him last weekend.

"As soon as I finished a five-a-side match â€" which to make matters worse was a memorial for my cousin Francesco Renna, who died in a car crash a few years back - around seven or eight men walked on to the field and came straight at me," he explained to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"They were holding sticks and metal bars. They tried to hit me, but fortunately didn't manage it. They were wearing T-Shirts with 'I Hate Bari' and even chased after my brother, Gianluca. Thankfully they were scared off by a police car and a few of our friends.

"It was a premeditated attack. Someone told them I was there. They arrived in three different cars during the match and, as soon as the final whistle blew, they took out their weapons.

"Physically I am fine, but psychologically I am hurting badly. I am furious at this incredibly serious incident. It happened in front of my wife, my nine-month-old baby and many other children who were at the game."

Nonetheless, Conte will not change his approach to coming home to the Salento region.

"Lecce is my city. I am not afraid here and blood is thicker than water. My family lives here. I just hope this incident can shock people into realising how ridiculous that attitude is and that those responsible do not get away with it."

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Tribal Football Staff

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