Juve defend banned management pair

10 August 2012 04:17

Juventus have pledged their "full support" to Antonio Conte and assistant Angelo Alessio after they were banned by the Italian Football Federation.

The coach of the reigning Serie A champions was accused by the FIGC of failing to report alleged match-fixing involving Siena when he managed them in the 2010-11 Serie B season. Charges against Conte of direct involvement in match-fixing were dismissed last month, but the FIGC are satisfied he was aware it was taking place.

He now faces a 10-month suspension while Alessio, who followed Conte from Siena to Juventus, has also been banned for eight months - although the Old Lady were boosted after players Leonardo Bonucci and Simone Pepe were acquitted of all charges.

The club said in a statement: "Juventus Football Club warmly welcomes the acquittal of its players Leonardo Bonucci and Simone Pepe, and reiterates its full support for Antonio Conte and Angelo Alessio in the hope the next stage of the process will finally prove their innocence.

"A group of legal professionals have been appointed by the individuals concerned and, with the full support of the club, is already working to prepare grounds for an appeal."

Juventus later added on their official website that Massimo Carrera would replace Conte as the team's caretaker coach.

The fall-out from the enquiry has also seen Lecce and Grosseto demoted from Serie B.

The two clubs were found guilty of the more serious charge of direct involvement in match-fixing and their punishments reflected that, with both clubs relegated to Lega Pro ahead of the 2012-13 campaign.

Former Lecce president Giovanni Semeraro, who sold the club in June, and former Grosseto president Piero Camilli have been handed five-year bans for their part in the scandal.

Former Bari defender Nicola Belmonte faces a six-month suspension but Marco di Vaio, Salvatore Masiello, Daniele Padelli and Giuseppe Vives had their charges dropped. In total, 45 people and 13 clubs were under investigation, among them Conte's former side Siena, who last week accepted a six-point deduction in a plea bargain deal.

Source: PA

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