Thursday August 2 2012
Conte goes to full betting trial

Juventus Coach Antonio Conte has refused to negotiate another plea bargain, so goes to a full betting trial and faces a potential 15-month ban.

The betting trial took a sensational twist yesterday when the plea bargain of a three-month ban and €200,000 fine was agreed with the prosecutor, but rejected as ‘insufficient’ by the Disciplinary Commission judges.

Conte has been charged with failing to alert two attempted fixes to authorities from his time at Siena in the Serie B 2010-11 campaign.

He has always denied knowing anything about the attempted interference from betting syndicates and was talked into taking a plea bargain by his lawyers.

This is because the justice system is one of ‘guilty until proven innocent’ when there is an accusation from someone who has confessed to another charge.

It was reported that Conte was negotiating another plea bargain with the prosecutor of a five-month ban, but the tactician stood his ground and opted to go to a full trial by pleading not guilty.

This means prosecutor Stefano Palazzi has requested a ban of one year and three months for Conte.

Ex-Siena player Filippo Carobbio claimed Conte had mentioned the ‘agreed’ results against Novara and Albinoleffe during a team meeting, but the other players who were present have testified the Coach never said that.

Siena also had their initial plea bargain rejected, but have now accepted a new six-point penalty for ‘indirect responsibility’ – as Carobbio was their player when he was in contact with the betting syndicates.

It should be noted the ban for a Coach only means he cannot sit on the bench, go into the locker room or give interviews in the Press room on match day, but he can continue day-to-day training.