Juventus manager Conte referred over betting scandal

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli congratulates Andrea Pirlo, left, as Leonardo Bonucci walks past them, after the Euro 2012 soccer championship final between Spain and Italy in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, July 2, 2012. Spain won 4-0. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

ROME: Juventus manager Antonio Conte and the club's Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci have been ordered to appear before a sporting tribunal over their alleged involvement in a widening Italian soccer betting scandal, authorities said on Thursday.

In total, 13 clubs and 45 players and training staff have been referred to the Italian football federation's disciplinary commission over the match-fixing allegations, the Italian Football Federation said.

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

If the tribunal finds against him, he could face a suspension of several months, Italian media said.

The matches concerned were between Novara and Siena in May 2011, which ended 2-2, and between Albinoleffe and Siena in the same month which ended in a 1-0 defeat for Siena.

Bonucci, who played in the Euro 2012 championships last month, is accused of involvement in an attempt to fix the result of a match when he played for Bari in 2010, a charge which could see him banned for up to three years.

The match against Udinese in May 2010 ended in a 3-3 draw.

The "Calcioscommesse" scandal echoes earlier match-fixing scandals which tarnished the image of Italian soccer in the 1980s and before the 2006 World Cup.

Prosecutors believe an international gambling ring paid players to throw matches deliberately. Dozens of current and former players in teams ranging from the Serie A top division down to the lower leagues may have been involved.

Conte's hearing will begin on Aug 1 and is expected to last two days. Bonucci's hearing begins on Aug 3.





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