Juventus coach Antonio Conte banned for 10 months over match-fixing

 

Juventus coach Antonio Conte has been banned for 10 months in relation to a match-fixing investigation.

The coach of the reigning Serie A champions had been accused of failing to report alleged match-fixing involving Siena when he managed them in the 2010-11 Serie B season.

Conte had a plea bargain deal rejected by the Italian federation (FIGC) earlier this month, a proposal which would have seen him serve a three-month suspension and pay a fine of 200,000 euros, and the federation have now confirmed the 10-month sanction.

Grosseto and Lecce have both been excluded from Serie B, the Italian second tier, for the 2012-13 season for their part in the scandal, with both clubs' former presidents banned for five years.

Charges against Conte of direct involvement in match-fixing were dismissed last month, but the FIGC are satisfied he was aware it was taking place during his time with Siena.

His assistant coach at Juve and formerly at Siena, Angelo Alessio, has also been banned for eight months, while former Lecce president Giovanni Semeraro and former Grosseto president Piero Camilli are facing even longer suspensions.

A statement from the FIGC read: "(These are) the judgments issued today by the National Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Sergio Artico,in relation to two cases of match-fixing.

"Among the officials, the more severe penalties are those of the president of Grosseto, Camilli, and the former president of Lecce, Semeraro, (for both a five-year ban); the disqualification of 10 months for Antonio Conte, currently coach of Juventus, and for eight months his deputy Angelo Alessio."

Semeraro sold Lecce in June, ending an 18-year association with the club.

In a statement released by the FIGC, it was confirmed Serie B side Novara have been docked two points while top-flight Bologna and fourth-tier Ancona face fines of 30,000 euros and 10,000 euros respectively.

Lecce have also been fined 30,000 euros in addition to their demotion, having been accused - along with Grosseto - of direct involvement in match-fixing rather than the lesser charge of failing to report it.

The FIGC also confirmed former Bari defender Nicola Belmonte has been banned from football for six months but six other players - Leonardo Bonucci, Simone Pepe, Marco di Vaio, Salvatore Masiello, Daniele Padelli and Giuseppe Vives - have been acquitted of the charges against them.

In total, 45 people and 13 clubs were under investigation, among them Conte's old club Siena, who last week accepted a six-point deduction in a plea bargain deal.

Serie A newcomers Torino, Serie B side Varese and relegated Albinoleffe will pay fines of 30,000 euros and begin the season with one-point penalties after their plea bargains were also accepted.

Juventus issued a statement saying they would offer their help in an appeal against the bans for Conte and Alessio.

"Juventus Football Club warmly welcomes the acquittal of its players Leonardo Bonucci and Simone Pepe, and reiterates its full support for Antonio Conte and Angelo Alessio in the hope the next stage of the process will finally prove their innocence," read the statement.

"A group of legal professionals have been appointed by the individuals concerned and, with the full support of the club, is already working to prepare grounds for an appeal."

PA

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