AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has come to the defence of Antonio Conte as he prepares to return from a four-month touchline ban.
The Juventus coach was given a 10-month suspension by the Italian Football Federation, reduced to four months on appeal, after being found guilty of withholding information concerning match-fixing during his time at Siena.
However, Berlusconi has given his support to the Juve trainer and cast doubt over the legitimacy of the charges.
“I do not know the specifics of the situation,” Berlusconi told Tuttosport.
“But there would be no wonder if he was one of those persecuted by justice, in this case by the sporting authorities.”
Though allowed to train his side, Conte has been absent from the sidelines for all 22 games so far this campaign but has retained the unwavering backing of his club’s president, Andrea Agnelli.
“Conte is and will remain our coach,” Agnelli stated.
“This was an inquisitorial process,” he said, when asked about his coach’s sentence.
Juventus travel to Sicily to face Palermo on Sunday, with the Old Lady leading Serie A on 35 points from their 15 league fixtures.