Elkann adds to Zeman criticism

Elkann adds to Zeman criticism

Published Aug. 17, 2012 7:15 a.m. ET

The chairman of Juventus owners Exor has added his voice to those criticising Roma coach Zdenek Zeman for his controversial comments about the suspended Juventus manager Antonio Conte.

John Elkann, who as chairman and CEO of Exor works closely alongside the controlling stakeholders, the Agnelli family, has moved swiftly to put the Roma manager in his place after he suggested Conte should face more severe punishment for his alleged involvement in match-fixing.

Former Siena manager Conte, together with assistant Angelo Alessio, was banned for 10 months for failing to report two incidents of match-fixing during their time at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Massimo Carrera has stepped up from his role as youth technical director to take interim control of first-team affairs at Juve and won the Supercoppa with victory over Napoli in his first game in charge.


Conte's suspension, however, does not forbid him from coaching his players at La Vecchia's training ground during the week, a fact that inspired Zeman to slam the Italian Football Association's (FIGC) ruling on Sunday.

Without specifically naming Conte, he told the Gazzetta dello Sport: "A suspended player can train, but I don't think a coach serving a lengthy ban should be able to train his players.

"I'm not fully appraised of the verdicts of the match-fixing trial, but I think the problem needs to be dealt with more decisively."

Juve director general Giuseppe Marotta, FIGC president Giancarlo Abete and Palermo owner Maurizio Zamparini have already responded negatively to Zeman's comments via the press.

Elkann broke his silence on Thursday, telling the Corriere dello Sport: "Zeman? Carrera has managed one game in his career and has won one more cup than him."

In total, 45 people and 13 clubs were under investigation in the 'Calcioscommesse' scandal.

Conte's former side Siena accepted a six-point deduction in a plea bargain deal, while fellow Serie B clubs Lecce and Grosseto were demoted to the Lega Pro.

Elkann added: "Juventus has a very clear position on this, the events have nothing to do with this club.

"We want everyone to be aware of that. We do not want to be associated with things that do not concern us.

"Having said that all the players and coaches at the club want to help find a solution to what is a difficult and unpleasant issue.

"Then we can reflect on how sporting justice and its laws work. We are waiting patiently."