Football: Italy coach Conte requested to stand trial in match-fixing inquiry

ROME (REUTERS) - Italy coach Antonio Conte is among 104 people a prosecutor has requested to face trial for their alleged involvement in match manipulation in 2011, the Ansa news agency reported on Tuesday.

Conte, who has already served a ban imposed by the Italian football federation (FIGC) in connection with the case but has always denied any wrongdoing, was accused of "sports fraud" by the prosecutor in the northern city of Cremona.

The alleged wrongdoing dates back to 2011, when Conte, who went on to win three successive Serie A titles with Juventus before being appointed Italy coach last year, was in charge of Siena in Serie B.

The prosecutor cited a match against Albino Leffe, while another accusation regarding a match against Novara was dropped, Ansa said.

The request by prosecutor Roberto di Martino mentioned guidelines issued by the Italian coaches' association that said its members should "safeguard the moral conduct of the players".

Udinese coach Stefano Colantuono was also among those requested to stand trial.

Colantuono, who in February said the accusation of involvement was "devastating" and that he did not understand it, is being investigated over a Serie B match when he coached Atalanta against Crotone.

The general inquiry followed alleged attempts to manipulate matches in Serie B, the Italian second division, and the third-tier Lega Pro during the 2010-11 season, with some Coppa Italia (Italian Cup) matches also involved.

Investigations have been led by police and state prosecutors from Cremona after a report from local side Cremonese uncovered the alleged scandal.

The FIGC has already conducted its own investigation and banned Conte for 10 months in 2012, later reduced to four months on appeal. Conte had previously rejected a plea bargain offering a three-month ban.

More than 50 players were banned for up to five years and a number of clubs, including Atalanta and Siena, have had points deducted by the FIGC over the case.