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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte cleared of match-fixing charges

Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Italian national team manager and future Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has been cleared of match-fixing charges in a trial held earlier today (Monday) in Cremona. He was one of the defendants in a case related to a match-fixing scandal that took place in 2011 when Conte managed Siena in Italy's Serie B. Conte was accused not of actual match-fixing, but of a failure to report alleged match-fixing taking place at the club.  We had written at length about these charges earlier; the full acquittal is not a surprise considering the whole dog-and-pony show nature of the case.  In fact, Conte wasn't even present at the trial.

"It was a full acquittal. What matters is that for him, this story is over. We talked to Conte on the phone and he was very happy."

-Francesco Arata, defense counsel; source: Sky

Prosecutor Roberto di Martino wanted Conte to serve a six-month suspension as well as pay a fine of over £6,000. But Conte, who already had served a four-month ban in the 2012-13 season over similar charges concerning another match during that season at Siena, was acquitted by judge Pierpaolo Beluzzi. The judge believes that the sporting fraud accusations towards Conte were baseless, therefore freeing the manager of any charges.

"I am highly satisfied with the court's acquittal of Antonio Conte. Finally his position has been clarified and my confidence in him has never been in question. Now we are all the more focused on the Euros."

-Carlo Tavecchio; FIGC present; source: Sky

And it's no doubt a highly satisfactory outcome for Chelsea as well, and we can now focus on next season as well.  While Chelsea would've probably not offered a contract to Conte had there been any chance of an actual criminal sentence, it's still good to know that he was cleared of all charges.

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