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Newcastle United’s Sandro Tonali banned from football for 10 months for breaking FIFA betting rules

Newcastle’s Sandro Tonali has received a 10-month ban from football for breaching betting rules, according to reports in Italy.

The 23-year-old will miss the rest of the season and will not compete in the 2024 Euros if Italy qualifies.

The Italian, who joined Newcastle United last summer in a £50 million transfer, has accepted an 18-month plea bargain with the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), according to Italian Football Federation president Gabriele Gravina.

This means he will be unable to play for ten months, followed by an additional eight months of rehabilitation exercises.

The agreement will now be submitted for approval to the Italian National Olympic Committee before being extended internationally.

 

Sandro Tonali
Tonali in the UCL match against Borussia Dortmund which Newcastle lost 1-0 on Wednesday night

FIGC President Gravina told reporters: 

“An agreement has been reached between the federal prosecutor and Sandro Tonali. The plea agreement is for 18 months, of which eight months is for rehabilitation, which involves therapeutic activity and making at least 16 public appearances.”

“The rules call for a certain number of years of suspension, but the plea bargain and extenuating circumstances have been taken into consideration and the players’ collaboration went above and beyond, therefore we must continue to respect the rules we have established for ourselves.”

Tonali was under investigation from the Italian Prosecutor’s Office and the Italian Football Federation, which found the Italian international had broken the gambling rules. The midfielder reportedly cooperated well with the investigation and received a reduced sentence in regards.

“Rules provide a ban for a few years, but there can be a plea agreement and attenuating circumstances,” Gravina added.

“The guys collaborated above and beyond expectations, so we will continue to follow the rules we had adopted.”

The midfielder’s agent, Giuseppe Riso, said Tonali suffers from a gambling addiction and the player has agreed to a treatment programme for gambling problems.

The FIGC banned fellow Italian international Nicol Fagioli for seven months for gambling last week, while Aston Villa player Nicol Zaniolo is also cooperating with their investigations.

This year, Brentford striker  Ivan Toney received an eight-month suspension for betting, while Nottingham Forest’s Harry Toffolo was given a suspended five-month ban for 375 rules violations.

Tonali made his final appearance of the season on Wednesday, coming on as a second-half replacement in Newcastle’s 1-0 Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

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