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Conte: Justice to give Napoli back points

Juventus coach Antonio Conte has backed the overturning of charges against Napoli for their alleged involvement in match-fixing.

Walter Mazzarri’s side were handed a two-point penalty which they successfully appealed against on Thursday, while Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava had bans from playing for the rest of the season revoked.

Conte, who was handed an initial 10-month ban for his alleged involvement in a match-fixing scandal in 2012, said the decision was the right one but took the opportunity to comment on his own case.

“It is justice to give Napoli back their deducted points, and acquit Cannavaro and Grava,” Conte said.

“However, I shouldn’t have been disqualified either.”

Napoli’s successful appeal means they remain in the hunt for the title but still trail leaders Juventus by six points ahead of their game in hand with Fiorentina on Sunday.

Conte’s side made light work of Udinese on Saturday in a 4-0 win with Paul Pogba netting a brace.

“Pogba has similar characteristics to Frank Rijkaard, and can still grow to become one of the world’s best in this role,” Conte said.

“Paul is the proof that talent can be brought to the fore when organisation is in place.

“My players are working seriously without the injured players. We always place the team above individuals, and always had things under control tonight.

“Despite the many absentees, very few noticed thanks to the great performances by those who stepped in.”

Juventus had to do without Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio, while Mirko Vucinic capped his return to the starting line-up with a goal.

Sun 20 January, 2013
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