Juventus coach Antonio Conte is set
to miss the whole of the Serie A season with the defending
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 over the sentence.
Juventus President Andrea Agnelli said the ruling confirmed
the club's "worst suspicions" about Italy's football justice
system which "seems more and more like a witch-hunt".
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.
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.
Conte's 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's appeals tribunal said
Conte had now been acquitted over the Novara game but that the
10-month ban should stay for the Albinoleffe affair.
Agnelli highlighted the fact that Conte had been cleared for
one of the two games he had originally been punished for and his
main accuser had been discredited, yet the sentence had not been
"Enough is enough," he said in a statement posted on the
club's website. He slammed the "profound injustice" of the
sentence and confirmed that Juventus would appeal again.
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 the probe into illegal betting
and match-fixing across the Italian game, had their demotion
from Serie B reversed by the appeals panel and their president
cleared with second tier Novara having their points penalty cut
to one from two.
All other sanctions including Lecce's demotion to the third
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
They now face difficulties again despite the club not being
The suspension is for all club activity so Conte will also
not be able to coach Juve in their return to the Champions
The mechanics of the ban are far from clear and he will be
able to influence the team from afar.
Despite the affair, Juve remain favourites with Italian
bookmakers to retain their Serie A title with AC Milan engaged
in cost cutting and Inter Milan looking a shadow of the team
that won the treble in 2010.
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