The manager of Newcastle, Eddie Howe, is confident that Sandro Tonali will most likely be able to play against Wolves on Saturday, even though the midfielder was previously given a 10-month ban by the Italian football federation.
This somewhat farcical situation has arisen because Fifa has still to ratify the Italian sanction for Tonali’s breaches of betting regulations, thereby turning it into a worldwide sanction. There is no set timeframe for a process that can take hours or, in theory, weeks. In Newcastle’s case a hiatus periods of a few days is considered most likely.
Howe stated that there is a strong possibility that Sandro will be able to join us for the game against Wolves. However, there are certain conditions that need to be met before the suspension is enforced. As of now, we have not received any updates from the Italian authorities. We are currently in a state of uncertainty, eagerly awaiting official confirmation.
On Thursday night the Italian federation said Tonali had broken a rule that prohibits footballers betting on matches. It added that, in agreement with the federal prosecutor, it was implementing an 18-month disqualification from playing football, with the final eight months commuted to a “therapeutic plan” designed to aid the 23-year-old’s recovery from a gambling addiction.
Depending on when Fifa ratification arrives, Tonali will miss the remainder of this season before returning to Howe’s team in late August or early September next year. Reports in Italy have indicated he will be allowed to train with Newcastle during his suspension but Howe said he did not know whether such suggestions were accurate. “Sandro’s going to have some really difficult moments ahead,” he said. “And, initially, a lot of attention.”
Howe stated that he had come to terms with the possibility of losing his highly anticipated summer acquisition from Milan. The player had confessed to gambling on his previous team’s matches while playing for San Siro. Howe acknowledged that this situation demonstrates the unpredictability of the future and emphasized the importance of having a strong team capable of handling such challenges.
Howe dismissed accusations that Newcastle did not thoroughly investigate before acquiring Tonali from Milan. “I’ve come across numerous remarks stating that we should have been aware,” he stated. “But there’s no way we could have been.”
It is possible to invest additional resources, however, there will always be unknown aspects of an individual’s personal life. This is simply the reality. When making a commitment, it is done in good faith. Despite our efforts, there will always be a level of uncertainty with any player we sign, as has been the case in the past.