The betting scandal in Italy just took a blockbuster twist when Siena midfielder Filippo Carobbio accused current Juventus boss Antonio Conte of being ware of match-fixing during his time in charge at Siena.
According to quotes in La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Carobbio told prosecutors about two games that Conte knew that match was being fixed.
The first match was played on 30 April 2011 and Carobbio is quoted as saying:
“There was an agreement in place to draw the game and we discussed it during the pre-match technical meeting. We were all informed about the agreed result so that we knew how to act during the match. The coach, Antonio Conte, told us we needn’t worry because there was an arrangement with Novara. I’m not sure who the first to agree was but Drascek came to our hotel and spoke to Vitiello about it. That was the first contact but then the whole team was informed and I discussed it on the pitch before kick-off with Novara players Bertani and Gheller.”
The second match was the last match of the Serie B season, when Siena had already been promoted and AlbinoLeffe were involved in a relegation battle. Carobbio says:
“After Siena v AlbinoLeffe on 8 January 2011, the assistant coach Stellini asked me and Terzi to contact someone from the other team to set up an agreement for the reverse fixture later in the season, so that whoever needed the points more would be allowed to win.
I spoke with Garlini, one of AlbinoLeffe’s senior players, and Terzi got in touch with Bombardini. They were both open to it. Late in the afternoon, or in the evening, the day before AlbinoLeffe v Siena on 29 May, there was another meeting outside our hotel in Stizzano, in the province of Bergamo. Sala, Passoni and Poloni – AlbinoLeffe’s technical collaborator – met myself, Nando, Coppola and another Siena player that I can’t remember.
There we agreed to let AlbinoLeffe win because they needed the points to make sure they reached the playouts, but we asked to keep it to a single goal, if possible 1-0. We wanted to maintain our defensive record and we also wanted to avoid the uproar there might have been after a shocking result.
During the week there was a lot of discussion about the agreement within the club, by the players and the coach. Some people wanted to win it in the hope of finishing first and getting the prize money. But in the end we all agreed, team and coach, to let AlbinoLeffe win.”
Conte said back in April when the allegations first surfaced that he had no charge to answer and that he was looking forward to the chance to clear his name.
“I don’t have much to say,” he said at the time “I’ve read that there’s an investigation, I’m very calm and I have faith in the institutions, who are just trying to do their jobs.
“No one has called me, but when and if they do, it will be my pleasure to see them and answer their questions.
“If anyone is looking to destabilise us, they’ll find it hard to do. It will only make us more determined.”
At the moment it is simply Carobbio’s word against Conte’s. Italian prosecutors will be looking to find is anyone else could collaborate Carabbio’s blockbuster claims.