Conte free to take charge

6 Apr

Antonio Conte’s ongoing legal case in Italy is not expected to impact on him taking the Chelsea job ahead of next season.

Chelsea: Conte free to take chargeChelsea: Conte free to take charge

The Blues announced on Monday that Conte will take charge at Stamford Bridge on a three-year deal after coaching Italy at Euro 2016 this summer.

Conte is one of several defendants in a match-fixing trial taking place in Cremona, relating to when he was in charge of Siena, who were then competing in Serie B. The 46-year-old is accused of failing to report his knowledge of fixing by players in a 1-0 defeat to Albinoleffe in May 2011.

Former Siena midfielder Filippo Carobbio accused Conte, who denies any wrongdoing, after striking a plea bargain with the authorities during the long-running Scommessopoli, or ‘Last Bet’, probe.

Italian prosecutor Roberto Di Martino – the man also leading a call for top tennis players to be investigated for possible links to betting rings – has reportedly stated he would be seeking a six-month suspended prison sentence and an 8,000 euro (£6,400) fine for Conte, who has already served a four-month touchline ban imposed by the Italian Football Federation in 2012 as a result of this case.

A final statement by the defence, led by Conte’s lawyers Francesco Arata and Leonardo Cammarata, should be made to the court on April 11, with judge Pierpaolo Beluzzi’s verdict expected in mid-May.

Chelsea will not comment on the matter as it is part of an ongoing legal process, but three-time Serie A-winning coach Conte, who has maintained his innocence throughout the affair, believes he has no charge to answer.


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