Italy coach Conte to stand trial

Date published: Tuesday 7th July 2015 4:46

Conte is among 104 people a prosecutor requested be brought to trial under match-fixing charges in a wide-ranging case that allegedly has its roots in Singapore.

Cremona prosecutor Roberto Di Martino made the expected requests in a case that has stretched back nearly five years.

Conte is accused of committing sports fraud when he coached Siena in 2010/11.

If indicted, Conte will likely request a fast-track trial in an attempt to clear himself before next year’s European Championship.

The 45-year-old, who has denied wrongdoing, has already served a four-month sports ban during the 2012/13 season at Juventus.

Trial requests were also made for current and former Lazio captains Stefano Mauri and Giuseppe Signori, respectively. Former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni and ex-Atalanta coach Stefano Colantuono are also facing possible trials.

Prosecutors have detailed an extensive match-fixing ring stretching as far as Singapore and South America that was allegedly in operation for more than 10 years.

A judge will decide on eventual indictments.

Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio and Olympic committee president Giovanni Malago have both said that Conte should keep his job unless found guilty.

The match under investigation involving Conte is the Novara-Siena game in May 2011 which ended in a 2-2 draw. Another game, Siena’s 1-0 away win at Albinoleffe, was dropped from the inquiry. Siena finished second in Serie B in 2011 and was promoted to the top division.

Players have told prosecutors that Conte was aware of the match-fixing.

Conte was also investigated for match-fixing when he coached Bari from 2007 to 2009, and the southern club was deducted a point during the 2013/14 season.

After leading Juventus to three Serie A titles in succession, Conte became Italy’s coach last year, replacing Cesare Prandelli after the Azzurri’s first-round exit from the World Cup.

More than 50 people have been arrested in Italy for match-fixing since mid-2011, with games under investigation by prosecutors in Cremona, Bari, Naples, and Catania.

A week ago, Catania’s owner admitted to fixing five Serie B matches last season aimed at preventing the Sicilian club from relegation to the third division.

Antonino Pulvirenti also claimed to have made pay-offs totalling around £355,000 during his admission at a preliminary hearing. He was one of seven people arrested last month on sports fraud charges.

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