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Aug 1, 2012

Conte plea bargain rejected

Juventus coach Antonio Conte faces a lengthy ban after having a plea bargain application rejected at Wednesday's match-fixing trial.

• Conte to face investigators

Conte, who faces charges of failing to report an attempted fix while at Siena in 2010-11, was willing to accept a three-month suspension and a fine of €200,000 but the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) believes that punishment is not sufficient for the offence.

It was thought that the prosecutor, Stefano Palazzi, would accept all plea bargains put forward when the hearing began on Wednesday morning, but after agreeing to one point penalties for Torino and Varese he then chose to throw out the offer from Conte and Siena.

Siena were prepared to accept a five-point deduction and a fine of €40,000, but this was turned down.

The legal team from Juve have called for the trial to be scrapped, citing a Corte Costituzionale ruling from 1992 which is reported to state a judge cannot pass the new sentence if he rejects an agreed plea bargain.

It seems certain that Conte will face a lengthy ban and will not be on the bench for the Serie A champions when the season kicks off later this month. Any ban would forbid Conte from contact with the squad during a match and also from giving any interviews to the media.

At present the following punishments have been accepted:

Torino, one point penalty and €30,000 fine
Varese, one point penalty and €30,000 fine
Filippo Carobbio, additional four-month ban
Carlo Gervasoni, additional three-month and 20 day ban
Marcelo Larrondo, three-month and 20 day ban and €30,000 fine
Daniele Faggiano, four-month ban
Da Costa (Sampdoria), three month ban and €30,000 fine
Luigi Sala, two-year ban
Cristian Stellini, two year ban and €50,000 fine

Meanwhile, Juventus have announced a media blackout in response to the news that Conte must go to trial.

"Juventus have today [Wednesday] enforced a media blackout," read a statement on the club's website. "The situation will be assessed tomorrow [Thursday] and based on today's facts, which are considered to be, regardless of the event's outcome, an extremely serious act concerning the honour of all subjects involved: professionals, managers, employees and the club. The club will make further comment tomorrow."

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