Apr 052016
Antonio Conte is due to coach Italy at this summer’s European Championship in France

An Italian prosecutor wants incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte to get a six-month suspended prison sentence and fine over his alleged role in a match-fixing case, according to his lawyer.

Conte, who denies any wrongdoing, is accused by prosecutors in the city of Cremona of “sporting fraud”.

The case focuses on 2011, when he was in charge of Siena in Serie B.

The 46-year-old former Juventus boss will become Chelsea head coach after managing Italy at Euro 2016.

Conte has already served a ban imposed by the Italian soccer federation in connection with the 2011 case.

Prosecutor Roberto di Martino has cited a match against Albino Leffe, claiming Conte knew of match-fixing efforts. He requested the sentence and 8,000 euro fine in a closed-doors hearing in Cremona on Tuesday.

Conte’s lawyer, Leonardo Cammarata, said the defence is due to make its final statement to the court on 11 April and a verdict is due in mid-May.

A Chelsea spokesman said the club would not comment on an ongoing investigation.

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Apr 052016
Siobhan Chamberlain has won 34 England caps

Injured goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain has withdrawn from the England women’s squad for their Euro 2017 qualifiers against Belgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Sunderland’s Rachael Laws, 25, has been called up to replace the 32-year-old Liverpool keeper, who has a knee injury.

England face Belgium in Rotherham on Friday, before travelling to Zenica to play Bosnia on Tuesday.

The Lionesses have won both their qualifying games so far.

Goalkeepers: Karen Bardsley (Manchester City), Rachael Laws (Sunderland), Carly Telford (Notts County)

Defenders: Laura Bassett (Notts County), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Liverpool), Steph Houghton (Manchester City), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Casey Stoney (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Amy Turner (Notts County)

Midfielders: Katie Chapman (Chelsea), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Jo Potter (Birmingham City), Jill Scott (Manchester City), Fara Williams (Arsenal)

Forwards: Eniola Aluko (Chelsea), Karen Carney (Chelsea), Gemma Davison (Chelsea), Toni Duggan (Manchester City), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Ellen White (Notts County).

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Powell takes on PFA coaching role

 Posted by at 5:23 PM
Apr 052016
Powell managed England and the GB team at London 2012

Hope Powell has become the first female coach educator to work with the Professional Footballers’ Association.

Powell, who was the first woman to achieve the Uefa Pro Licence in 2003, scored 35 goals in 65 caps for England and managed them from 1998 to 2013.

“I am keen to help develop the next generation of coaches in this country,” said the 49-year-old, who also managed Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.

“It’s a great opportunity to work within the men’s professional game.”

She added: “Hopefully I can be a positive role model for future females who want to embark in a role as a coach educator within this field.”

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Apr 052016

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New Chelsea manager: Who is Antonio Conte?

Chelsea’s appointment of Antonio Conte as manager “does not make any sense”, says ex-Blues striker Chris Sutton.

He thinks the Italy boss is too similar to Jose Mourinho, who was sacked in December amid suggestions he had fallen out with several senior players.

“If the players have downed tools before there is every suggestion that, with Conte being a similar type to Mourinho, they will down tools again,” Sutton told BBC Radio 5 live.

Conte, 46, takes over after Euro 2016.

“If he comes in and starts hitting the players with a whip, are they going to respond?” asked Sutton.

“Bringing in a similar type of manager to Mourinho in Conte doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Two other former Chelsea players, Andy Townsend and Pat Nevin, think the Premier League champions, who were 16th in the table when Mourinho was dismissed, have made a “good appointment” in ex-Juventus boss Conte.

“I don’t think Conte will be far removed from what Jose was like at his very best,” said former Republic of Ireland midfielder Townsend.

“Jose captured the attention of the players when he arrived. There was an intensity about what he did, the players responded and enjoyed working under that sort of regime. I feel Conte will do the same.”

Ex-Scotland winger Nevin added: “People think of him as a one-system manager. He’s not. He’s always been very adaptable.”

Antonio Conte led Juventus to their first silverware following a match-fixing scandal after taking over in 2011

After Mourinho’s sacking, Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo said there had been a “palpable discord between manager and players”.

As a temporary measure and to restore some stability, the Blues appointed Guus Hiddink as interim manager for a second time.

The Dutchman has not lost any of his 15 league games in charge and has guided them to 10th in the table.

Sutton said keeping the former Netherlands boss would have been a “good option”.

“It is working under him – the team have improved beyond all recognition,” said Sutton, signed by Chelsea for £10m in 1999.

Under Mourinho, the Blues won the Premier League title by eight points last season and also lifted the League Cup.

But they lost nine of their opening 16 league games this term and were one point above the relegation places when he was sacked.

John Terry has won four Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League with the Blues

One of Conte’s first jobs at Stamford Bridge could be to decide the Chelsea future of John Terry, who is out of contract in the summer.

“If Conte turns up and wants to play three centre-backs, then I don’t see why John couldn’t play for another 12 months in that system,” said Townsend.

Sutton added: “They have got to keep John Terry at the club in some capacity. I think Conte will keep him purely on his playing ability.”

Sutton thinks the Blues will struggle to attract top-class players without the lure of European football.

Chelsea, who won the 2012 Champions League and 2013 Europa League, are 10th in the Premier League, 10 points adrift of the top four.

“If you want to play Champions League football you go to best teams,” said Sutton. “Chelsea are going to find signing top players tough.”

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