Mercoledì, 19 Settembre 2018
ROME

Soccer: Juventus coach Conte given 10-month ban

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, August 10 - Juventus coach Antonio Conte was
banned for 10 months on Friday for a match-fixing offence by an
Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) disciplinary panel.
Conte, who led Juve to the Serie A title last season, was
found guilty of failing to report agreements to fix the results
of two matches when he was in charge of Siena in the second tier
in the 2010-11 campaign.
However, Juve's Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci and his
club teammate Simone Pepe were cleared of the match-fixing
charges against them.
The panel's decision means Conte will not be able to be on
the bench for Juve's Super Cup match against Italian Cup winners
Napoli in Beijing on Saturday.
And they will have to find a new coach for the upcoming
campaign unless the decision is overturned on appeal.
FIGC prosecutor Stefano Palazzi had requested a ban of
three and a half years for Bonucci and one year for Pepe for
alleged wrongdoing committed at their respective former clubs,
Bari and Udinese.
Bonucci was suspected of involvement in an agreement to fix
a match between Udinese and Bari in May 2010, while Pepe was
suspected of having known about it and not informed the
authorities.
Palazzi had requested that Conte be banned for 15 months
after the disciplinary panel rejected a deal he had reached with
the coach for him to accept a three-month ban and a 200,000-euro
fine to close the charges against him.
Conte's assistant Angelo Alessio was given an eight-month
ban on Friday after Palazzi had requested that he too be
suspended for 15 months.
Juventus said they were backing Conte, who led the Turin
side to the Serie A title last season, and Alessio.
Juve said in a statement that they gave "full support to
Antonio Conte and Angelo Alessio in the hope that the next
levels of judgement will make it possible for their innocence to
fully emerge".
The club also expressed "great satisfaction for the
acquittal of its players Leonardo Bonucci and Simone Pepe".
Bonucci voiced relief at the decision.
"For now I will say only that the recognition of my
innocence has given me great strength," the defender said via
telephone.
"I am also very happy because I have discovered that a lot
of people care about me.
"Right now I am focused on the challenge against Napoli. My
heartfelt thanks go to all those who have stood by me and
believed in me".
Udinese were cleared of having indirect responsibility for
their players' wrongdoing, while Bologna were given only a
30,000-euro fine, after Palazzi had requested the team be docked
two points at the start of next season.
Bologna's ex-captain Marco Di Vaio, a former Italy forward
who is now with Montreal Impact, and defender Daniele Portanova
were cleared of the charges against them.
Lecce, who were relegated from Serie A last season, and
Grossetto were both demoted from the second to the third tier
and given six-point and three-point penalties respectively.
The verdicts were the result of the latest of a series of
sporting disciplinary hearings after revelations made by two big
criminal probes in Cremona and Bari into betting-related
match-fixing.
Siena, who are now in the top flight, Serie A, thanks to
Conte, were docked six points and Torino and Sampdoria were
given one-point penalties at previous hearings.
Bergamo-based Atalanta had six points deducted at the start
of last season and will start the 2012-13 campaign at -2.
Ex-Bari defender Andrea Masiello was given a 26-month ban
after he admitted to deliberately scoring an own goal to ensure
Bari lost 2-0 to Lecce in the 2010-11 campaign, when they were
relegated to Serie B.
Over 40 people have been arrested since the Cremona-based
'Last Bet' criminal probe went public last year, leading
sporting prosecutors to look at the case.
They include Lazio midfielder Stefano Mauri and former
Italy internationals Beppe Signori and Cristiano Doni.
The new case has rocked the Italian soccer world again
after Juventus were relegated and stripped of two Serie A titles
for involvement in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal in 2006.

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