Stunning news from Italy as current Italian national team boss, and former Juventus manager Antonio Conte is among 104 people who will face trial for their alleged involvement in match fixing in 2011.
Conte, who has already served a ban imposed by the Italian football federation in connection with the case but has always denied any wrongdoing, was accused of ‘sports fraud’ by the prosecutor in the city of Cremona.
“I am bitterly disappointed, but I go forward,” Conte told Sport Mediaset.
The alleged wrongdoing dates back to 2011 when Conte was in charge of Siena in Serie B and involves a match against Albino Leffe. According to the ANSA news agency Conte has been cleared for Novara-Siena and accused of sporting fraud in Albinoleffe-Siena, both in the 2010-11 Serie B season.
However, the description put forward by Prosecutor Roberto Di Martino suggests Conte is only accused of “failing to safeguard the moral conduct of his players” rather than performing any illegal acts himself.
This follows from the sporting trial into the same match, in which he was handed a 10-month ban (reduced to four on appeal) for “failing to alert the authorities to a potential fix.”
Conte always maintained his innocence, insisting he was unaware of any irregularities.
The Siena case was primarily built around the testimony of player Filippo Carobbio, but his version of events was denied by all of his teammates.
The general inquiry followed alleged attempts to manipulate matches in Serie B, the Italian second division, and the third tier Lega Pro during the 2010/11 season, with some Coppa Italia matches also involved.
Investigations have been led by police and state prosecutors from Cremona after a report from local side Cremonese uncovered the alleged scandal.
The FIGC has already conducted its own investigation and banned Conte for 10 months in 2012, later reduced to four months on appeal. Conte had previously rejected a plea bargain offering a three-month ban.
More than 50 players were banned for up to five years and a number of clubs, including Atalanta and Siena, have had points deducted by the FIGC over the case.