The president of the Italian football federation (FIGC), Gabriele Gravina, announced that Sandro Tonali, a midfielder for Newcastle, will receive a 10-month ban from football due to violation of Italian gambling rules. Additionally, Tonali will have to complete an eight-month rehabilitation program as part of the resolution.
Tonali’s representative stated that his client struggles with a gambling problem and that Tonali was fully cooperative with an investigation in Italy. Tonali confessed to placing bets on games, even some in which he played for Milan. He joined Newcastle from Milan for a fee of £55m in July.
Italian professional soccer players are not allowed to place bets on any events organized by Fifa, Uefa, or the FIGC. If they do, they could face a three-year suspension, though this penalty may be lessened if they admit their wrongdoing.
“The prosecutor of FIGC and Tonali have come to a mutual understanding that I have already given my approval to,” stated Gravina. “This agreement entails a suspension of 10 months, followed by eight months of rehabilitation activities and a minimum of 16 public appearances.”
Tonali’s attorney traveled to Italy this week to discuss a potential plea bargain for the 23-year-old. The player’s club has assured him of their complete backing. Newcastle’s coach, Eddie Howe, stated on Friday, “We will embrace Sandro and provide him with the necessary care and support to help him overcome the challenges he has faced. We envision him as a long-term member of our team and are fully dedicated to his future with us.”
Juventus’ Nicolò Fagioli, who plays in midfield, received a seven-month ban last week after reaching a settlement with the FIGC due to his violation of rules regarding betting on games. While his suspension was initially for a full year, five months were suspended and he was also ordered to pay a fine of €12,500 (£10,843). Additionally, he has agreed to undergo a treatment program for gambling-related issues.