Newcastle star Sandro Tonali 'at risk of a ONE-YEAR ban'

Newcastle star Sandro Tonali ‘at risk of a ONE-YEAR ban’, reports in Italy claim, after his agent admitted £52m midfielder had a gambling addiction

  • The 23-year-old is cooperating with the authorities in a bid for a plea agreement 
  • Nicolo Fagioli received a seven-month ban and additional rehabilitory measures 
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’ 

Sandro Tonali could receive a ban of up to 12 months after admitting to prosecutors heading up an ongoing investigation into illegal gambling that he placed bets on football, according to reports in Italy. 

Newcastle’s summer signing is one of three players that have been named in the investigation, including Aston Villa’s Nicolo Zaniolo and Nicolo Fagioli of Juventus. 

Fagioli became the first player to speak directly to prosecutors and work with the investigation after news broke last week, and on Tuesday, the 22-year-old was handed a seven-month ban from football. 

The player’s ban is a significant reduction from the usual minimum sanction of three years after the player admitted his guilt and confessed to a gambling addiction. 

On Tuesday, Tonali’s agent confirmed that the 23-year-old was also fighting a gambling problem and that the midfielder is cooperating with the authorities. 

Sandro Tonali could face a possible 12-month ban from football after cooperating with Italian authorities in their investigation into illegal gambling

Nicolo Fagioli received a seven-month ban after reaching a similar plea bargain on Tuesday

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Italian laws around betting ban athletes from placing bets on the sports in which they compete. 

But as per Gazetta dello Sport, Tonali could face a longer ban than Fagioli should it emerge that he had placed bets on his former side AC Milan – which could constitute an act of sporting misconduct under the country’s Sports Justice Code. 

The midfielder is now believed to have met with prosecutor Giuseppe Chine – who spoke with Fagioli over the weekend – twice, with the second meeting taking place on Tuesday. 

Whilst Tonali’s move to Newcastle would mean that had the player placed bets on Milan, he would be in no way personally involved in the outcome, it is thought that if the player did gamble on the Rossoneri, this could be considered an aggravating factor to possibly increase his sanction. 

By cooperating, Tonali could see any potential ban halved under a plea agreement, but matters could be complicated if there are any discrepancies between what Tonali has told prosecutors and anything found on the player’s phones or devices. 

Zaniolo, Tonali, and Fagioli had their electronics confiscated as part of the investigation on Thursday, which also saw the Italian national team’s training camp raided by the authorities as they sought to interview Zaniolo and Tonali. 

Italy head coach Luciano Spalletti called the raid ‘traumatic’ and described his players as ‘absolutely distraught’ by the investigation. 

Along with a potential sanction, Tonali might also expect additional prescribed measures, as have been handed to Fagioli, including therapy for a gambling addiction, and meetings with young players to discuss the consequences of illegal betting in football. 

If Tonali, 23, placed bets on his former team Milan, any potential sanction could be aggravated by potential sporting misconduct

The Newcastle midfielder also met with criminal prosecutors at Turin’s Palace of Justice

After meeting with prosecutors over alleged sporting offences, Tonali is then thought to have spoken to criminal prosecutor Manuela Pedrotta, who is spearheading an investigation into a betting ring on illegal online platforms. 

Tonali is believed to have cooperated fully with the parallel investigation. 

Zaniolo, who joined Aston Villa on loan from Galatasaray during the summer’s transfer window, is not thought to be seeking a plea bargain, and will instead be looking for a full acquittal. 

The former Roma player is said to be adamant that he only placed bets on online poker and blackjack games – which is not in contravention of the Sports Justice Code.  


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