Antonio Conte gets 10-month ban

Updated: August 10, 2012, 6:30 AM ET
Associated Press

ROME -- Juventus coach Antonio Conte has been suspended for 10 months for his role in a match-fixing scandal, but players Leonardo Bonucci and Simone Pepe have been cleared.

The Italian Football Federation's disciplinary committee announced the verdicts Friday. Prosecutor Stefano Palazzi had asked for Conte to be banned for 15 months.

Conte, who led Juventus to the Serie A title last season, was punished for failing to report match-fixing in two games during the 2010-11 season when he was coach of then-Serie B side Siena.

Juventus released a statement after the verdicts were announced, saying it has already started preparing appeals for Conte and his assistant Angelo Alessio, who has been banned for eight months.

"Juventus expresses great satisfaction for the absolution of its players Leonardo Bonucci and Simone Pepe and underlines its full support for Antonio Conte and Angelo Alessio, in the hope that the next level of the justice system can at last show they are completely innocent."

Palazzi had asked for a 42-month ban for Bonucci and a 12-month ban for Pepe for their alleged roles in fixing the Udinese vs. Bari match in May 2010. Bonucci was a Bari player at the time, while Pepe was with Udinese.

Udinese has also been cleared, while fellow Serie A's Bologna has been fined $37,000 -- Palazzi had asked for it to be docked two points.

Former Bologna captain Marco Di Vaio -- now with the Montreal Impact -- has also been cleared. He tweeted: "Justice has been done!!! Cleared!!! Now I'll go back to bed a lot lighter!!"

Meanwhile, Lecce and Grosseto have been banned from Serie B and will start next season in Lega Pro, the third division of Italian soccer. Novara has been deducted two points.

Appeals will be heard on Aug. 20.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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