Andrea Agnelli statement
August 22, 2012
Today’s decision by the Federal Court of Justice confirms my worst fears about the affair involving Antonio Conte, for events alleged to have taken place while he was employed by another club. For a number of months now I have followed this case in disbelief, along with a growing sense of unease for a sporting justice system which looks increasingly like a witch-hunt. It is now time to make a stand. Following a clear legal victory – his acquittal for failing to report Novara v Siena which revealed the contradictory and conveniently-timed changed statement of a “witness” who is only interested in easing his own position - they have decided to go against logic and have even doubled his punishment.
Essentially, after months of hearing Filippo Carobbio explain how his coach actually invited his players to draw a game during the course of a technical meeting, today we discover the total innocence of Antonio Conte in that affair, yet they hide behind the second allegation (AlbinoLeffe v Siena) to apply the same first-instance penalty, with no regard for the truth, basic arithmetic or justice. Justice in the true sense of the word.
For months now I have had to listen to lessons from members of institutions and respected thinkers calling for trust in a sporting justice system which - in the absence of proof – is happy to hold hasty trials with inconsistent time frames, case by case, investigation by investigation, perhaps person by person, or worse, club by club, with uncivilised methods which have no place in a democracy. That is not all. This system initially brandishes plea-bargains as a way out for individuals, only to then refuse them without grounds.
I would like to reaffirm my support and that of Juventus for Antonio Conte and Angelo Alessio, who are currently fighting this system, which needs to be reformed from the ground up. I trust that the judicial bodies of C.O.N.I., who we will be appealing to immediately, are able to resolve this grave injustice, which has damaged and continues to damage the club, something which needs to be assessed and quantified.
As has been stated on numerous occasions, Antonio Conte is and will remain the coach of Juventus. The club, whose deserved Italian Super Cup triumph caused yet more envy while once again giving rise to anti-Juventus sentiments, stands united as it enters a challenging season in Serie A, the Champions League and the Coppa Italia.
Anyone who thinks this summer's judicial proceedings might affect our season is seriously mistaken.