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Fabio Paratici agrees to take immediate leave of absence from Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur managing director of football Fabio Paratici has taken an immediate leave of absence (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)
Tottenham Hotspur managing director of football Fabio Paratici has taken an immediate leave of absence (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici has agreed to take an immediate leave of absence.

Spurs’ season was thrown into further chaos on Wednesday when it was revealed Paratici’s ban in Italy had been extended worldwide.

Paratici was handed a two-and-a-half-year ban from the game in January after his former club Juventus, where he worked for 11 years, were found guilty by an Italian court of false accounting.

While Paratici’s suspension initially only prevented him from working in Italy, FIFA’s extension of the Italian FA’s (FIGC) ban resulted in Tottenham “seeking further clarification” from the world governing body given an appeal had previously been launched with FIGC Federal Court of Appeals.

That appeal will be hard on April 19 but Paratici will now step away from his duties at the Premier League club.

“This week – 29 March 2023 – the FIFA Disciplinary Committee announced a decision to extend the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) sanctions, relating to Fabio Paratici, worldwide,” a club statement read.

“This decision was taken in advance of Fabio Paratici’s Appeal hearing against the FIGC sanctions on 19 April 2023, the result of which would then have been considered by additional stakeholders, including the Club.

“Given FIFA’s unexpected ruling the sanctions may now have multi-jurisdictional effect, although they are still related to the FIGC Appeal.

“In view of FIFA’s decision, Fabio has agreed with the Club that he will take an immediate leave of absence pending the outcome of his Appeal.”

Tottenham parted company with Antonio Conte on Sunday and Cristian Stellini, previously his assistant, has been tasked with leading the club for the final 10 matches of the season.

During his first press conference since the departure of his long-standing friend, the 48-year-old had insisted Spurs were not in a crisis situation.

“A bit chaotic, absolutely a bit chaotic but we have big shoulders to consider this type of situation,” Stellini said.

“We had an international break and that helped because we have time to think about everything. The club and every one of us have to take a decision and the decision was taken for the best of everyone.

“No, it’s not a club in crisis, absolutely not because everyone takes the decision for the best and when you take the decision and you follow the process, you are not in crisis.

“If you have some matters, we have to be compact and stick together and go ahead and continue to move on and play the match.

“For us it is important to play the matches and try to win matches to show our desire. This is what we do normally and we cannot not be aware of the decision the club take, but we can be focused only on the pitch. This is our job. We are not confused, we are focused on our job.”

After Stellini worked with Conte at Juventus and Inter Milan, it had been expected he would leave with the former Chelsea boss.

However, the one-time Alessandria head coach has been given the reins for the last 10 matches despite only limited experience as outright manager in Serie C before.

Stellini added: “I spoke with Antonio, and Antonio and the club spoke to each other. They made the decision together and they let me know.

“I was aware of this during this time and they called me. They said the decision is taken and if you agree with us, you can do it. I had no problem to say yes and because everyone agreed it was a mutual decision.”

Conte’s departure was accelerated following his post-match press conference comments away to Southampton on March 18.

After Spurs had let a 3-1 lead slip to only earn a point at St Mary’s, Conte was critical of “selfish players” who play for themselves.

“Antonio said what he felt in that moment and of course we were not happy at the end of the game in Southampton,” Stellini said.

“All the team was unhappy in that moment, Antonio as well. Obviously we spoke but Antonio said everything and what he felt in that moment.

“It is not important if I agree or not. I am here. There is a line between what I did in the past as an assistant and what I do in this moment.

“Now I focus on this moment and it is not important what happened. If I have to think about the past, I miss something important for the future.

“I draw the line in the moment they call me and say now you are head coach.”