The federal prosecutor in the Scommessopoli match-fixing scandal has requested that Juventus coach Antonio Conte be hit with a 15-month touchline ban.
The Bianconeri boss had agreed a plea bargain with Stefano Palazzi which would have seen the former Italy international suspended for three months and pay a fine of 200,000 euros. However, the agreement was rejected by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) Disciplinary Committee.
There was an option to renegotiate the terms of the plea bargain but Conte, who has maintained he knew nothing of alleged match-fixing during his time in charge of Siena, decided against doing so, preferring instead to go to trial in order to try to clear his name.
Consequently, Palazzi has now called for a far heavier ban for the 43-year-old, based on the evidence of former Siena player Filippo Carobbio, who claimed that Conte was aware of the attempts to influence the outcome of games against Novara and Albinoleffe.
"Carobbio would have got the same penalty even if he had not mentioned Conte's name," the federal prosecutor reasoned. "So there was no element of personal animosity.
"Instead, we have shown that there is consistency in the player's statements."
Juve president Andrea Agnelli has once again vowed to stand by the man who led the Old Lady to a surprise Scudetto success last season.
"I note that the FIGC and its sporting justice system continue to operate outside of any logic of rights and fairness," the Bianconeri supremo stated on the club's official website. "Yesterday's decision by the Disciplinary Committee of the national football federation, which refused to accept a plea bargain already agreed with the federal prosecutor, is testimony to the total inadequacy of the legal system and the sports federation within which it operates.
"I note again the inability to interpret the modern requirements of a high level of professionalism.
Even having chosen, against every instinct of logic, the path of plea bargaining in order to limit the damage done by a contradictory sporting justice system, we are up against a dictatorial system that robs clubs and their employees of any right to defense or honor. The respectability of the individual is at risk and it is up to them to have the final word on what decisions should be taken, knowing that Juventus will support them at every level of court."
Two members of Conte's backroom staff, Angelo Alessio and Cristian Stellini, defender Leonardo Bonucci and winger Simone Pepe have also been implicated in the match-fixing scandal.
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