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ITALY

Prosecutor targets Italy boss Conte over match-fixing

The current Azzurri manager, who will join Chelsea after the European Championship, denies knowledge of alleged Serie B match-fixing.

Prosecutor targets Italy boss Conte over match-fixing
DANIEL DAL ZENNARO EFE

An Italian prosecutor has requested a six-month suspended prison term and an 8,000-euro-fine ($9,085) for Italy coach Antonio Conte over his alleged role in a match-fixing case, Conte's lawyer said on Tuesday.

Conte, who has already served a ban imposed by the Italian soccer federation (FIGC) in connection with the 2011 case but has always denied any wrongdoing, is accused of "sporting fraud" by prosecutors in the northern city of Cremona.

The prosecution request came just a day after English Premier League champions Chelsea named Conte as their new coach for next season. He is due to take the Italian national side to the European Championship, which will be held from June 10 to July 10 in France.

The Cremona case focuses on alleged wrongdoing in 2011 when Conte was in charge of Siena in Serie B. The prosecutor has cited one particular match played against Albino Leffe, saying Conte knew of match-fixing efforts.

Conte's lawyer, Leonardo Cammarata, denied this. "Antonio Conte denies any wrongdoing and any knowledge of an attempt at match-fixing," Cammarata told Reuters.

He confirmed that prosecutor Roberto Di Martino had called for both a six-month suspended sentence as well as a fine for Conte in a closed-door hearing in Cremona.

The defence is due to make its final statement to the court on April 11 and a verdict is due in mid-May, Cammarata said. A Chelsea spokesman said the club would not comment on an ongoing investigation.