Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018

Soccer: Juve boss Conte faces match-fixing charges


(ANSA) - Rome, July 26 - Juventus coach Antonio Conte was
among a number of people to be charged with match-fixing
offences by Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) prosecutors on
Thursday along with five Serie A clubs.
The sporting charges come after revelations made by two big
criminal probes into betting-related match-fixing in Cremona and
Conte, who led Turin side Juve to the Italian championship
last season, is suspected of having known about agreements to
fix two matches when he was in charge of Siena in the 2010-11
campaign and failing to inform the authorities.
Juventus winger Simone Pepe was also charged with failing
to inform the authorities of plans to fix matches when he played
for Udinese between 2007 and 2010.
Former Italy forward Marco Di Vaio, now with Montreal
Impact, will face the same charge at hearings set to start early
in August for alleged wrongdoing during his 2008-12 stint at
Italy and Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, meanwhile,
has been charged with the more serious offense of sporting fraud
for alleged wrongdoing during his time at former club Bari.
Atalanta defender Andrea Masiello, who admitted
deliberately scoring an own goal to ensure his former side Bari
lost 2-0 to Lecce in the 2010-11 campaign, when they were
relegated to Serie B, faces the same charge.
A lawyer representing Conte did not rule out reaching a
punishment deal with FIGC prosecutors on Thursday and said it
was positive that Conte was not charged with the more serious
offence of sporting fraud.
"Now the scenario is completely different as the charges
are less serious," Antonio De Rensis told ANSA.
"A lawyer should never exclude anything. But it's one thing
to agree to a deal in a trial where the burden of proof is on
the prosecution, it's another when it's on the defence, as at a
sporting trial.
"Now we'll assess which path to take, bearing in mind that
this first step (regarding the charges) is undoubtedly
Juve, who extended Conte's contract by three years in May,
recently said they had no plan B for the eventuality the coach
would be banned as they are confident he is innocent.
The former Italy midfielder, who played for Juve during a
highly successful stint between 1991 and 2004, risks a six-month
ban or a big fine, according to media reports.
Four members of Conte's backroom staff have also been
The Serie A clubs involved are Udinese, Bologna, Sampdoria,
Siena and Torino. They have been charged for indirect
responsibility for their players' involvement in match-fixing.
A number of lower league clubs, including Serie B Bari,
will face the same charges.
Lecce, who were relegated from the top flight last season,
were charged with having direct responsibility for match-fixing
as were second-tier side Grosseto.
Over 40 people have been arrested since the Cremona-based
'Last Bet' probe went public last year.
They include Lazio midfielder Stefano Mauri and former
Italy internationals Beppe Signori and Cristiano Doni.
Italy's sporting justice system has already given out
punishments related to the match-fixing at previous rounds of
Signori and Doni are among a raft of people to have been
banned from soccer and Bergamo-based Atalanta had six points
deducted at the start of last season and will start the 2012-13
campaign at -2.
The new case has rocked the Italian soccer world again
after Juventus were relegated and stripped of two Serie A titles
in 2006 for involvement in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal
about attempts to arrange compliant referees for some teams'

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