West News Wire: Sandro Tonali, a midfielder for Newcastle United, will be suspended from football for ten months for breaking Italian regulations on match betting, the head of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced.
As part of an agreement with the FIGC, Italy midfielder Tonali, who signed with Newcastle this year from AC Milan, must also attend therapy sessions for problem gamblers and give a series of presentations about his experience over a further eight months.
Sandro Tonali, a midfielder for Newcastle United, will be suspended from football for ten months for breaking Italian regulations on match betting, the head of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced.
Italy midfielder Tonali, who joined Newcastle from AC Milan this year, must also attend treatment sessions for problem gamblers and give a series of talks about his experience over a further eight-month period as part of a deal with the FIGC.
The federation took action as a result of a Turin prosecutors’ investigation into Italian football players who were utilizing illicit websites to wager on games.
Nicolo Fagioli, a midfielder for Juventus, admitted to having gambling issues and agreed to a settlement with the FIGC that included a seven-month penalty.
Newcastle did not immediately respond to Tonali’s suspension. He entered the game as a substitute on Wednesday night as they lost 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund at home in the Champions League.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe stated last week that the team will behind him wholeheartedly.
Howe declared last Friday, “We will put our arms around Sandro, protect him, and try to give him the love and support he needs to find solutions to the problems he’s had.”
“We see him being part of our team for many years. We are committed to him long term.”
The FIGC’s Gravina defended the plea-bargain system used to handle cases rapidly and reduce the more severe penalties that could have been applied.
“The rules set out a certain number of years of sanctions, plea-bargaining is allowed as are extenuating circumstances,” he told reporters.
“The lads have been incredibly cooperative so we continue to follow the rules as they are set out,” he added.
Aston Villa’s Italy midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo is also assisting authorities in their investigation into alleged illegal betting activity, the Premier League club said last week.