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Italian Court Confirms Juventus Coach's 10-month Ban For Match Fixing



ROME – An Italian tribunal has confirmed today a 10-month ban for Juventus FC coach Antonio Conte, reports La Reppublica.

Football Federation judges rejected his appeal against a verdict handed down earlier this month, adds Reuters.

Antonio Conte, who played for Juventus from 1992 to 2004 and led the team to the Italian title last year as a coach, was accused of failing to report incidents of match fixing in two games in the 2010-11 season, reports BBC Sport.

At the time, he was the coach of then second division (Serie B) side Siena. The Siena matches that came under scrutiny were against Novara and Albinoleffe in May 2011, reports Eurosport.

Juventus officials said they filed a second appeal, which will be heard in September. His assistant Massimo Carrera has temporarily replaced him as coach.

The judges also rejected the appeal filed by prosecutors against Juventus players Leonardo Bonucci and Simone Pepe, former Bari players Nicola Belmonte and Salvatore Masiello and football club Udinese - who were all acquitted in a first trial. They were accused of fixing a match between Bari and Udinese in 2010, reports AGI.

The Federation prosecutor had wanted a three-and-a-half year ban for Italy's Bonucci, who was with Bari at the time, and one-year ban for Pepe, who was then playing for Udinese.

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Inside The Search For Record-Breaking Sapphires In A Remote Indian Valley

A vast stretch of mountains in India's Padder Valley is believed to house sapphire reserves worth $1.2 billion, which could change the fate of one of the poorest districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Photo of sapphire miners at work in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district

Sapphire mining in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district

Jehangir Ali

GULABGARH — Mohammad Abbas recalls with excitement the old days when he joined the hunt in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district to search the world’s most precious sapphires.

Kishtwar’s sapphire mines are hidden in the inaccessible mountains towering at an altitude of nearly 16,000 feet, around Sumchan and Bilakoth areas of Padder Valley in Machail – which is one of the most remote regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Up there, the weather is harsh and very unpredictable,” Abbas, a farmer, said. “One moment the high altitude sun is peeling off your skin and the next you could get frostbite. Many labourers couldn’t stand those tough conditions and fled.”

Abbas, 56, added with a smile: “But those who stayed earned their reward, too.”

A vast stretch of mountains in Padder Valley nestled along Kishtwar district’s border with Ladakh is believed to house sapphire reserves worth $1.2 billion, according to one estimate. A 19.88-carat Kishtwar sapphire broke records in 2013 when it was sold for nearly $2.4 million.

In India, the price of sapphire with a velvety texture and true-blue peacock colour, which is found only in Kishtwar, can reach $6,000 per carat. The precious stone could change the socio-economic landscape of Kishtwar, which is one of the economically most underdeveloped districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

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