The Turin giants were knocked out of the competition after Wesley Sneijder scored a late winner at Turk Telekom Arena, sending the home fans into raptures in treacherous wintry conditions in Istanbul.
Conte was outraged that the game went ahead because of the state of the pitch, but says he could not fault the effort of his players in such testing conditions.
"We certainly tried to have the game postponed and met with the UEFA delegate beforehand, but nobody wanted to listen. Roberto Mancini said it was dangerous and I agreed with him, I said, 'I think so.' I don’t think my English is that bad," he told Sky Sport Italia. "At halftime I reiterated to the referee that it was not safe to play in these conditions. Didier Drogba said it was the same thing for both teams, but I pointed out it wasn't, because we were trying to play football.
"We are talking about a game played on a mudslide. What made me angry was yesterday the referee suspended play because it was 'dangerous' and all of a sudden today it was no longer 'dangerous.' Maybe I need to improve my English, as the officials don't seem to understand me very well.
"The only way of playing today was to kick it upfield and hope for the best. That is really not the sort of football we are accustomed to and it showed. I have to praise the lads, as they gave their all in a situation where we were enormously penalized, as the game resorted to a football brawl.
"I will say our mistake was to get to the last game and play everything here. With a decent pitch, I am sure we would've played our game. We couldn't have predicted these circumstances, so in my view our exit is unfair, but we also made life difficult for ourselves."
- Sports & Recreation
- Wesley Sneijder