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Italy manager Conte acquitted in match-fixing trial

Antonio Conte has been fully acquitted Credit: AP

Italy head coach Antonio Conte is clear to take charge of Chelsea in the summer after being acquitted of charges pertaining to sporting fraud, an Italian judge has announced.

The 46-year-old, who will move to England and Stamford Bridge after leading Italy at the European Championship, had been accused of failing to report his knowledge of an incident of attempted match-fixing during his time as Siena boss in 2011.

Cremona-based prosecutor Roberto Di Martino had asked for Conte to be handed a suspended six-month prison sentence and fined 8,000 euros (£6,300), but the former Juventus coach, represented by lawyers, was on Monday acquitted by judge Pierpaolo Beluzzi during a preliminary hearing.

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio told Italian newspaper Il Sole that he was "highly satisfied" with the outcome.

"Finally his position has been clarified and my confidence in him has never been in question. Now we are all the more focused on the Euros."

Italy back Leicester manager Ranieri to win World Cup

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has what it takes to win the World Cup, according to Italian Football Federation president Carlo Tavecchio.

Ranieri made the impossible possible at Leicester. Credit: PA

After 30 years in management the 64-year-old Roman has finally secured his first top-flight title after guiding unfancied Leicester to the Premier League trophy.

Ranieri experienced mixed fortunes with Chelsea and Valencia, and Italian clubs including Juventus, Roma, Parma and Inter Milan, also enduring a forgettable spell as the head coach of Greece.

But Tavecchio feels his countryman could eventually follow in the footsteps of Vittorio Pozzo, Enzo Bearzot and Marcello Lippi by steering Italy to the greatest prize in world football.

Speaking to ANSA.it in Rome, the FIGC chief said:

I hope Ranieri can win a World Cup with Italy, that would be the best. I'm speaking in an abstract way, of course, and not necessarily about the next World Cup. Claudio is still young and will have time on his side.

Have we thought about him as a replacement for (outgoing Italy coach Antonio) Conte? It's him who should be thinking about us!

We're thinking about a lot of different things right now, but those in his second sporting homeland are wishing him every success.

– Italian Football Federation president Carlo Tavecchio

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Syrian refugee families arrive in Rome

Three Syrian refugee families arrived in Rome this evening after Pope Francis brought them home with him following a tour of the Greek island of Lesbos.

The 12 refugees - including six children - smiled broadly as they were pictured getting out of cars at the Sant'Egidio Community centre after being randomly being selected after drawing lots to start a new life in Italy.

The Pope brought three families back to Italy with him after his visit to meet refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos Credit: APTN
Among those to arrive were six children and six adults Credit: APTN
Children were pictured holding up a 'thank you' banner as the families arrived Credit: APTN

Former Italy boss Cesare Maldini dies at 84

Casare Maldini at the World Cup in 2002. Credit: PA

Former Italy coach and AC Milan defender Cesare Maldini has died aged 84, the Serie A club have announced on their website.

In a statement the club expressed condolences to Maldini's family. Paolo, Maldini's son, played more than 600 times for Milan and won more than 100 caps for Italy.

Maldini won the European Cup at Wembley in 1963, when Milan beat Benfica. Credit: PA

Maldini won the European Cup in 1963, at Wembley, and four Serie A titles with Milan, and played more than 400 games during his club career.

He worked as assistant manager and then manager for Milan before moving to the Italian national team where he was assistant manager from 1980 to 1986 before winning three European Championships during his spell in charge of the under-21 team.

Maldini, who played 25 times for Italy, took over as manager of the national team in 1996 following the departure of Arrigo Sacchi.

He led Italy to the 1998 World Cup finals in France, where they reached the quarter-finals, and also guided Paraguay to the 2002 finals.

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