Conte loses match-fixing appeal

Ten-month ban from football upheld by Italian tribunal as Juventus manager looks set to miss the entire Serie A season.

    Conte loses match-fixing appeal
    Conte received the ban after being found guilty of failing to report attempts to fix two matches when he was coach of Serie B side Siena [EPA]

    Juventus coach Antonio Conte is set to miss the whole of the Serie A season with the defending Italian champions after losing his appeal against a 10-month ban over a match-fixing scandal on Wednesday.

    Conte, who led an undefeated Juventus to the Italian title in his first season in charge last term, was banned on August 10 for failing to report two incidents of match-fixing in the 2010-11 season when he was coach of then Serie B side Siena.

    The Italian federation (FIGC) said in a statement on Wednesday that Conte, whose hearing was heard on Monday, had lost his appeal.

    The FIGC's prosecutor also lost an appeal against the decision to acquit Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci and winger Simone Pepe over an alleged attempt to fix a match between Bari and Udinese in 2010.

    The FIGC's prosecutor had wanted a three-and-a-half year ban for Italy's Bonucci, who was playing for Bari at the time, and one-year ban for Pepe, who was with Udinese.

    Second appeal

    The Serie A season starts this weekend. Juve have said they will stick by Conte with a second appeal set to be launched and heard in September.

    His assistant Massimo Carrera has taken charge of Juve's pre-season friendlies and is poised to stay as temporary boss.

    The Siena matches that came under scrutiny were against Novara and Albinoleffe in May 2011. FIGC said Conte had now been acquitted over the Novara game but that the 10-month ban should stay for the Albinoleffe affair. Siena had already been fined while Conte's assistant at Siena and Juventus, Angelo Alessio, was banned for eight months.

    His suspension has been reduced to six months on appeal.

    Grosseto, also dragged into a probe into illegal betting and match-fixing across the Italian game, had their demotion from Serie B reversed by the appeals panel.

    Italy has suffered an array of match-fixing scandals over the years. Juve, the country's best supported and most successful club domestically, were demoted to Serie B in 2006 and struggled to regain their former glory before last term's triumph.

    They now face difficulties again despite the club not being directly involved.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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