Italy match-fixing scandal: Juventus to appeal coach Conte's 10-month ban

    Antonio Conte is suspended for 10 months from football amid match-fixing allegations.

    Story highlights

    • Juventus coach Antonio Conte banned from football for 10 months.
    • Conte's assistant Angelo Alessio also banned by Italian Federation
    • Serie A champions Juventus to launch an appeal
    • Six other Italian players acquitted of charges made against them
    Italian football champions Juventus plan to appeal against the 10-month ban that coach Antonio Conte has received after failing to report match-fixing when he managed Serie B side Siena.
    Conte and his Juve assistant Angelo Alessio, who was also at Siena, were suspended by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) following a police investigation over allegations of "sporting fraud and fraudulent association" in relation to a league fixture against Novara in April 2011.
    While earlier charges of direct involvement in match-fixing have been dropped, the FIGC maintain Conte was aware of the corruption taking place during his tenure at Siena.
    Last season Juventus won the Serie A title for the first time since being stripped of two scudettos and relegated in 2006 after another match-fixing scandal.
    "The club underlines its full support for Antonio Conte and Angelo Alessio, in the hope that their innocence will emerge during the appeals process," said a Juventus statement.
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    Conte submitted a plea bargain earlier in August, in which he would have had to pay a €200,000 ($245,000) fine and serve a three-month suspension, but the FICG rejected a more lenient sanction.
    The former Juventus captain, 43, led his side to back into the Champions League after managing them through an entire season without suffering a defeat, but came under official investigation in June after his first season at the helm of the Serie A giants.
    "He is not being accused of match-fixing himself, and with appeal the sentence may be reduced to five months. It's enormous scandal, and it goes way beyond Conte," John Foot, author of "Calcio: A History of Italian Football," told CNN.
    In total, 13 clubs and 44 members of Italian League football are alleged to have been involved in the betting scandal investigation including Siena, which accepted a six-point deduction last week as part of a plea bargain.
    Serie B sides Lecce and Grosseto have been excluded from Italy's second division for the 2012-13 season, and their former presidents Giovanni Semeraro and Piero Camilli face five-year suspensions.
    Six other players -- Leonardo Bonucci, Simone Pepe, Marco di Vaio, Salvatore Masiello, Daniele Padelli and Giuseppe Vives --have been acquitted of the charges against them.
    South East Asia betting
    In May, Italian police descended on the national team's Euro 2012 training base to speak to defender Domenico Criscito as part of a wide-ranging investigation into match fixing.
    The 25-year-old, formerly of Genoa but now at Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg, was questioned by officials probing gambling markets linked to fixing results of matches in the Italian top flight.
    A total of 19 people were arrested in the ongoing investigation by magistrates in Cremona, 11 of them players in Italy's top division.
    "The top people are still there and no-one has resigned," said Foot, Professor of Modern Italian History at University College London.
    "The authorities have come close to uncovering the networks a few times in recent years, but they've really got it now. They have found a network that goes to Singapore and China -- it's an international network."
    Football's world governing body FIFA is waiting for the FIGC to report on the scandal.
    "FIFA is currently waiting to receive all relevant documents from the Italian FA (FIGC) pertaining to the case and will then evaluate the next steps," it said.
    "This includes the potential extension of sanctions to have worldwide effect, in accordance with the FIFA Disciplinary Code."
    Long-running saga
    Since February, FIFA has extended 39 domestic sanctions in Turkey, Finland, Korean Republic and Croatia in an attempt to preserve the integrity of the sport. It said that South East Asia is "widely considered as a center of legal and illegal betting."
    FIFA said it has invested €20 million ($24.5 million) as part of a global initiative to clamp down on corruption within football.
    The scheme targets illegal and irregular betting and match-fixing, which is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year in Asia alone.
    Friday's announcement of FIGC's punishments are the latest in a long-running saga that has cast a shadow over Italian football.
    Seventeen people were arrested in a similar swoop last year, the most high-profile of which was Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni. He was subsequently banned from the game for three years.