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Juve coach Conte’s ban reduced to 4 months

Juventus coach Antonio Conte has had his ‘Calcioscommesse’ match-fixing ban reduced from 10 months to 4 months, Italy’s National Court of Arbitration for Sport (TNAS) announced on Friday.

Conte was suspended by the Italian authorities before the start of the season after being accused of failing to disclose knowledge of match-fixing during his time at Siena in the 2010-11 season.

He will now be able to resume his position on the touchline with the Turin giants, level with Napoli at the top of Serie A, on December 8.

Conte’s ban has been endorsed by football’s world ruling body FIFA, meaning he cannot coach the Serie A champions during international as well as domestic fixtures.

His punishment was shortened following a meeting on Tuesday when his lawyers submitted fresh evidence to arbitrators.

Conte has always denied the charge that he was aware that the match between his then team Sienna and Albinoleffe on May 29, 2011, was fixed.

In a statement TNAS declared that it “rejects Antonio Conte’s main demand [of his innocence] but partially accepts it and now inflicts this punishment on him until December 8”.

Conte can resume his place in the Juve dugout for the Serie A game against Palermo.

But he will have to wait until the Champions League knockout stages should Juventus make it that far as the concluding group stage match is held on December 5, three days before his ban expires.

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli welcomed the decision.

“I maintain my view, which is shared by everyone at Juventus, that Antonio Conte is an innocent man and in no way guilty of the charges levelled at him,” said Agnelli.

“The confirmation of his suspension is an injustice which should prompt the entire footballing system to ask itself questions.

“After so much has been written and said about this issue, the appropriate sporting bodies must proceed with a far-reaching reform of the sporting justice system, so it can avoid perilous inconsistencies — in terms of the length and severity of sanctions — the likes of which have occurred over the last few years and which have often led to serious miscarriages of justice.

“I hope they respond swiftly to this appeal so that such injustices may never occur again in the future.”