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 By Ben Gladwell

Italy boss Antonio Conte to face April trial over match-fixing allegation

Antonio Conte's trial will begin on April 4.

A date has been set for the trial of Italy coach Antonio Conte over a failure to report match fixing he is alleged to have been aware of when he was coaching Siena, Italian ANSA news agency has reported.

The trial, which will begin on April 4 and could last for more than a month, is being held now in order to ensure it will be concluded before Euro 2016.

The Italian football federation (FIGC) wants Conte, who has denied the charge, to be able to prepare for the tournament without any distractions.

Conte had been expected to appear in court for more than a year, but the date has only just been set.

The then-Juventus boss was found guilty by an FIGC sporting court in 2012 and banned for 10 months, which was reduced to four months on appeal.

The trial beginning next month is part of a criminal investigation in which 103 people are on trial.

Conte is accused of being aware that a match between Albinoleffe and Siena in May 2011 had been fixed but not reporting it to the sports authorities, effectively meaning he was directly involved.

If found guilty, he could be banned from any activity in sport for over six months and fined at least €30,000.

Earlier this month, FIGC president Carlo Tavecchio said Conte would not be distracted by reports that he was on the verge of being named as the new manager of Chelsea from next season.

Conte's representatives have been in negotiations with Chelsea over him taking charge once Guus Hiddink's interim spell ends in the summer, according to ESPN FC sources.

Reports claimed that the 46-year-old is close to signing a contract to take over at Stamford Bridge after positive talks between his representatives and Chelsea officials in London, while former England manager Fabio Capello claims that Conte is preparing himself for life at Stamford Bridge.


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