Unless you've had your head buried in the sand for the last half a year, it's been impossible to get away from the ongoing match fixing saga taking place in Italy. The latest probe into alleged match fixing has named a series of teams in both Serie A (Atalanta, Novara and Siena) and B (AlbinoLeffe, Ancona, Ascoli, Avesa, Cremonese, Empoli, Frosinone, Grosseto, Livorno, Modena, Monza, Padova, Pescara, Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggina, Rimini, Sampdoria and Spezia.) In April of this year, Antonio Conte responded to allegations that he may be named as a person of interest in the investigation by stating:
''There's little to say. I'm serene and confident in the (investigators), who are doing their job.I haven't been summoned by anyone. Once I've been summoned by someone, I'll have the pleasure of responding.''
It seems things have taken a turn for the worse as today's Gazzetta Dello Sport leads with this story.
To summarise, Filippo Carobbio (Siena player) alleges that games against Novara and Albinoleffe were decided before they took place.
Carobbio regarding the game against Novara: "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."
Carobbio regarding the game against Albinoleffe: "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."
I should point out that i was very reluctant to post the above story. At this stage, it is simply Carobbio's statement and nothing else. Juventus football club are not implicated in any way whatsoever, but coach Antonio Conte is mentioned throughout. For that reason, and that reason alone, i decided to add it to the site.