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Friday Kickoff: Juventus coach banned, Spurs’ Parker has surgery and more

Conte (Reuters Pictures)

Defending Serie A champion Juventus will have to embark on their quest to repeat with a new coach.

Juventus manager Antonio Conte was banned for 10 months by the Italian soccer federation as part of a widespread match-fixing scandal that dates back to his time as manager of Siena. Conte was punished for failing to report instances of match-fixing during the 2010-11 season. He had reportedly attempted to negotiate a plea bargain that would have only had him suspended for three months, but it was rejected. 

Similar charges to some high-profile players, including Italian national team players Leonardo Bonucci and Simone Pepe and current Montreal Impact forward Marco Di Vaio, have been investigated, but those players were all acquitted and do not face suspensions. 

Here are a few more stories to get your day going:


There is a lot of optimism surrounding Tottenham ahead of the 2012-13 season, but Spurs will have to begin the season without one of their most vital players.

Scott Parker had surgery on his right Achilles, and he will be out until the middle of September, according to reports. Parker played for England in the European championship despite being hurt at the end of the last Premier League campaign, and he reportedly reaggravated the injury while on international duty.

He will miss England's friendly against Italy next week and World Cup qualifiers on Sept. 7 and 11 and is expected to resume training following that international break.


Roberto Mancini is waving a white flag of surrender in the chase for Robin van Persie. 

The Manchester City coach admitted that the club does not appear to be in the running for the Dutch striker's services anymore, citing a frustration with the club's management and policy as well.

"We only have 20 days to the end of the market, and I don't think that we have any chance for him," Manicini told reporters.


Craig Bellamy is headed back to Cardiff City.

The Great Britain Olympian is set for a free transfer from Liverpool to the Welsh club where he was on loan during the 2010-11 season. The well-traveled Bellamy scored nine goals in all competitions for Liverpool last season after joining the club from Manchester City.

Cardiff missed out on promotion from the League Championship last season, qualifying for the playoffs but getting blown out by West Ham 5-0 in their semifinal tie.


Do you think Conte's ban will harm Juventus' chances at repeating in Italy? How do you see Parker's injury affecting Tottenham? Do you think City are really out of the running for Van Persie? Think Bellamy can lead Cardiff City to promotion this season?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The sticking point isn’t that Liverpool don’t want Dempsey, it’s that they don’t want to pay the fee Fulham want for the player. Not sure Bellamy leaving changes that.

    Can Fulham keep Dempsey and let him walk for free? I say no, but I’m not the decider. Should be interesting

  2. He knew about match fixing, didn’t report them and was suspended for only 10 months !?!?!

    Not only that, they actually responded when he asked for only 3 months.

    Yeah, that will never happen again there.


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