Italy news

Juve coach Conte faces investigators

July 26, 2012
By ESPN staff

Juventus head coach Antonio Conte will face the Italian Football Association disciplinary committee (FIGC) for withholding information from prosecutors over sporting malpractice.

Antonio Conte
GettyImagesAntonio Conte has been banned

Conte, who coached Juventus to the Serie A title last season, is accused of failing to report an incident that occurred while at former club Siena.

Juventus players Simone Pepe and Leonardo Bonucci will also face the committee, with Pepe facing a six-month ban if found guilty of the same offence as Conte, while Bonucci is accused of actively influencing a result. None of the three are accused of any foul-play since joining Juventus.

A statement from FIGC read: "Thirteen clubs and 45 individuals have been deferred to the disciplinary committee as part of the investigation into betting in football, related to the investigation by the Cremona and Bari public prosecutors' office.

"The Federal (FIGC) prosecutors have deferred Lecce and Grosseto for direct responsibility while Ancona, Siena, Novara, Torino, Varese, Albinoleffe, Bari, Udinese, Portogruaro, Sampdoria and Bologna have been deferred for strict liability.

"Antonio Conte (is deferred) for violating article 7, point 7 of the sporting code for ignoring their obligation to inform the prosecutors of the facts relating to the sporting malpractice pertaining to the game between Novara and Siena on May 1, 2011 after having referred to it in the pre-match meeting held a few hours before kick-off.''

The first hearings will take place next week in order to decide upon sanctions ahead of the start of the 2012-13 season.

Conte's lawyer Antonio De Renzis later told Tgcom24 that Conte would consider the option of entering a plea bargain in the coming hearing.

De Renzis said: "A good lawyer never takes anything off the table because he has to evaluate the situation. A plea bargain is one thing in a civil court and another in a sporting court.

"Everyone always said that the sporting justice system is the opposite of a civil one, as here the accused has to prove his innocence rather than the other way round. The accused must prove in some way that the accuser is lying.

"In that sense, a plea bargain would perhaps lack intellectual honesty. For the moment we are simply content to see the prosecuting scenario dropped down a few notches."