Conte: I'm innocent and want to return to the Juventus bench for Serie A opener

The 43-year-old has once again stressed that he did not do anything illegal, and expects to be acquitted to return to the dugout
Antonio Conte has maintained his innocence in the Scommessopoli scandal and wants to return to the Juventus bench for Saturday's Serie A opener against Parma.

The successful coach was handed a 10-month suspension for his failure to report two instances of attempted match-fixing during his time in charge of Siena, but Conte refuses to accept his punishment and has lodged an appeal.

The former Italy international is hopeful that his ban will be scrapped, and expects the judges to acquit him based on the evidence presented during a hearing on Monday.

"This entire situation is really painful for me. The accusations are not based on anything. It will be very hard for me to forget all this. This is an act of injustice and I'm confident that the judges will acquit me after reading the evidence," Conte stated to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I am innocent and I have a clear conscience. I am very calm and feel confident. I hope to return to the bench for this weekend's game against Juventus."

Conte initially negotiated a plea bargain with prosecutor Stefano Palazzi, but the disciplinary committee rejected the proposal for a three-month ban.

"I agree with the judges on one thing: 90 days wasn’t a suitable punishment - the right one is zero.

"Even if today I had the certainty of a three-month ban, my answer would have been 'no'. I didn’t do anything illegal and I didn’t fail to report anything."

Conte missed Juventus' 4-2 Supercoppa Italiana win over Napoli due to the suspension.