The Italian football federation has imposed a 10-month ban on Sandro Tonali, a midfielder for Newcastle United, for his involvement in betting activities. Tonali, who recently signed a record-breaking contract with Newcastle, placed multiple bets on matches involving his former team, AC Milan.
This ban will prevent Tonali from participating in the Premier League season and potentially even next year’s European Championship, provided Italy qualifies. He is the second Italian player to be banned due to a betting scandal, following Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli.
Fagioli, who had debts exceeding three million euros, was banned for seven months by the Italian federation earlier this month. He has also agreed to undergo at least six months of therapy to address his gambling issues.
According to Tonali’s agent, his client has struggled with gambling addiction. Although Tonali could have faced a three-year ban, he cooperated with investigators, leading to a less severe punishment.
During Italy’s recent international break, both Tonali and his teammate Nicolo Zaniolo were asked to leave the national team training camp after news of the investigation broke.
Tonali made an appearance as a substitute in Newcastle’s recent Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund. Despite his ban, Newcastle’s manager Eddie Howe has expressed the club’s commitment to support Tonali and help him overcome his issues.
The Italian betting scandal first emerged when disgraced paparazzo Fabrizio Corona alleged that Fagioli had a gambling addiction. Corona, known for his involvement in blackmailing football clubs and players, has also accused other players, including Stephan El Shaarawy and Nicolo Casale. Corona is currently being investigated for defamation due to legal actions taken by El Shaarawy and Casale.
Besides Italy, the Premier League has also faced its fair share of betting scandals. Ivan Toney, a forward for Brentford, received an eight-month ban and a £50,000 fine for violating the Football Association’s betting rules. Toney will be ineligible to play until January 17 next year.
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