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Juventus coach Conte loses appeal against 10-month ban

updated 1:40 PM EDT, Wed August 22, 2012
Antonio Conte arrives for his appeal hearing before the disciplinary commission of the Italian Football League at the Federal Court of Justice in Rome.
Antonio Conte arrives for his appeal hearing before the disciplinary commission of the Italian Football League at the Federal Court of Justice in Rome.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Antonio Conte's appeal against a 10-month ban rejected
  • Juve coach Conte implicated in match fixing scandal at previous club Siena
  • Juventus start Serie A title defense Saturday against Parma
  • Giampaolo Pazzini and Antonio Cassano swap Milan clubs

(CNN) -- Juventus coach Antonio Conte has failed to overturn a 10-month ban for his role in a match fixing scandal after the Italian Football Federation (FICG) rejected his appeal Wednesday.

Conte led Juve to the Serie A title last season but was punished for failing to report alleged corruption in two Serie B matches when he was previously in charge of then second flight Siena.

The 43-year-old was handed his suspension on August 10 and appeared in person this week before the disciplinary commission of the FICG at the Federal Court of Justice in Rome to argue his case.

But his pleas have been rejected. "The Federal Court of Justice can confirm the 10-month disqualification for Antonio Conte," said a statement on the FICG website.

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"It was decided to acquit Conte for his role in the Novara-Siena game, but the 10-month disqualification stands as a disciplinary commission sanction concerning Albinoleffe-Siena."

Conte is the most prominent figure caught up in the so-called 'Calcioscommesse' illegal betting scandal -- largely confined to clubs in the second flight Serie B of Italian football.

His suspension leaves Juventus without a coach for the start of their title defense against Parma in Turin Saturday although Conte is allowed to participate on the training ground.

Gianni Merlo, the chief sports writer of Gazzetta Dello Sport, told CNN that Juventus would launch a further appeal to the Court of Arbitration of the Italian Olympic Committee next month.

"Juventus has defended him very strongly, the president of Juventus (Andrea Agnelli) has said this is a kind of witchhunt, but he is very inexperienced in these matters," he added.

Agnelli appointed Conte before the start of last campaign and his first season in charge proved a triumph as the Turin giants swept to the Scudetto for a record 28th time.

In their ruling, FICG has shown a measure of clemency to Conte's assistant Angelo Alessio, who saw his ban cut from eight months to six months after he was found guilty of the same offenses at Siena.

Lecce's appeal against demotion from Serie B was rejected, but Grosseto were reinstated to the division.

The affair has unhappy echoes of the previous match fixing scandal which swept Italian football six years ago and led to Juventus being stripped of two titles and demoted to Serie B.

Meanwhile, ahead of the new season a major transfer switch was completed Wednesday with AC Milan and Inter agreeing to swap strikers Giampaolo Pazzini and Antonio Cassano.

Milan, who will play in the Champions League this season, have also additionally paid €7m ($8.73m) to secure Pazzini.

Cassano, who battled a heart condition before playing a key role for Italy in Euro 2012 campaign, has signed a two-year deal at Inter.

"Finally, after what seems like an eternity, I've signed for the club I've always supported," he told Inter's official website.

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