Antonio Conte has maintained his innocence after the appeal to dismiss his 10-month touchline ban was rejected by the Federal Court on Wednesday.
The Juventus coach was suspended by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) until the end of the 2012-13 campaign after failing to notify authorities about two instances of match-fixing during his spell as Siena boss.
Conte has now seen all of his attempts to legally clear his name fail, and with Massimo Carrera now set to fill in as caretaker manager for the remainder of the season, the 43-year old took to a press conference to share his side of the story.
“The time has arrived for us to talk after hearing what everyone else had to say,” said Conte to reporters. “I’ve always respected the rules, on and off the pitch. I have comported myself in the right way throughout this whole affair.
"I’ve behaved in the right way, despite the fact that I have suffered some grave injustice. I’ve never placed a bet in my life, but I’ve become an advert for the betting scandal. Now I want to clear a few things up."
Conte then proceeded hit out at former player Filippo Carobbio, who provided evidence against the Bianconeri boss that helped the prosecution achieve its guilty verdict.
“They judged Pippo Carobbio, who they painted as my best friend, as a reliable and credible person, while the Federal Prosecutor has deemed me not credible," he said. "What the Federal Prosecutor said is chilling. I consider a plea bargain blackmail. I'm an innocent person, yet I’m told by my lawyer to plea-bargain. It’s embarrassing. They have ruined my credibility in the changing room. Those people who know me know what type of person Antonio Conte is.
"I’m used to winning on the field of play. It’s all absurd. Everyone needs to understand what has been done to me because it is embarrassing. Now I’m afraid to argue with one of my own players. If I send one of my players into the stands then this type of thing can happen. They believe the word of someone who has been selling games for three-and-a-half years, someone who sold his family.”
“What can I do? Take a camcorder with me everywhere which records my every move? This type of thing can now happen to anyone."
The former midfielder also reacted incredulously to the words of Italian judge Piero Sandulli, who claimed that he was lucky to have escaped a three-year ban for his involvement in the scandal.
“Yesterday’s comments [by Sandulli] seemed to be the icing on the cake. I was left appalled by what was said by one of the commission’s judges, who, perhaps in order to make the papers, said some unusual things," he concluded.
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