Cremona: Antonio Conte, future coach of English Premier League club Chelsea, was cleared on Monday of any role in a 2011 match-fixing scandal while he was in charge of Italian second division football team Siena.
Conte, who will coach Italy`s national squad during this summer`s European Championship before taking up his new post at Chelsea, was acquitted by a court in the northern Italian city of Cremona.
He was accused of being aware of, but not having intervened to prevent, the alleged fixing of a game between Siena and relegation-threatened AlbinoLeffe, which Siena lost 1-0.
The judge in the case, Pierpaolo Beluzzi, said the charge of sporting fraud against Conte was "groundless."
"Those close to me know how much I have suffered at the very idea my name could be associated with the shame of match-fixing," Conte wrote on his Facebook page, saying the four years since he had been implicated in the case had been a "nightmare."
"I want to thank all those who have never doubted me and assure them that I have come out of this experience stronger and even more motivated," he said.
The 46-year-old Conte, who in served a four-month touch-line ban imposed in 2012 by the Italian football federation (FIGC) in connection with the same case, has always denied any wrongdoing.
Conte played more than 400 games for Juventus and went on to manage the club to three successive Serie A titles from 2012 to 2014 before taking over Italy`s national squad.
The 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 matches also involved.
Also on Monday, the Cremona court ordered some 90 others to stand trial in the same match-fixing case, setting Dec. 6 as the start date for the hearings.
Conte and five others had chosen a fast-track trial.
The FIGC has already conducted its own investigation into the case, with more than 50 players banned for up to five years and a number of clubs, including Atalanta and Siena, having points deducted.