Could Italian match-fixing scandal count Conte out at Chelsea?

Antonio Conte 2

March 11 – Italy national coach Antonio Conte is edging closer to taking over at Chelsea’s but hanging over him is a match-fixing debacle from his time at Siena.

Conte is the frontrunner to take over from caretaker Guus Hiddink in the summer, with the former Juventus manager, who won three leagues titles in a row, expected to sign a three-year contract.

Conte was found guilty by a sports 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 wider criminal investigation involving 103 people.

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

The trial, starting on April 4, and could last for more than a month which should ensure completion before Euro 2016 but Chelsea’s paymasters are likely to be watching closely.

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