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Premier League star faces possible ban ‘over alleged gambling breaches’

todayOctober 18, 2023 1

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Premier League star faces possible ban ‘over alleged gambling breaches’

Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali is being investigated by prosecutors in Italy for allegedly breaching betting rules, the Premier League club has said.

The Italian Prosecutor’s Office and the Italian Football Federation have launched investigations into the football star, who joined the Magpies from AC Milan for £55m in the summer, but could now face a lengthy playing ban.

Tonali, 23, was withdrawn from the Italy squad ahead of Tuesday’s Euro 2024 qualifying defeat to England at Wembley, along with fellow Italian, Nicolo Zaniolo, who is on loan at Aston Villa from Turkish club Galatasaray.

Aston Villa's Nicolo Zaniolo during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in London, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

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Aston Villa’s Nicolo Zaniolo. File pic

Tonali and Zaniolo last week returned to their clubs from Italy’s training camp after it emerged they were being investigated.

Newcastle said in a statement: “Sandro Tonali and Newcastle United can confirm that Sandro Tonali is subject to investigation by the Italian Prosecutor’s Office and Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in relation to illegal betting activity.

“Sandro is fully engaging with the investigation and will continue to cooperate with all relevant authorities.

“He and his family will continue to receive the club’s full support.

“Due to this ongoing process, Sandro and Newcastle United are unable to offer further comment at this time.”

Tonali was one of several players named in an Italian football betting investigation last week.

Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli was banned for seven months by the FIGC for breaching betting rules on Tuesday.

FILE - Juventus' Nicolo Fagioli controls the ball during the 'Berlusconi trophy' soccer match between Monza and Juventus in Monza, near Milan, Italy, Saturday, July 31, 2021. A Lawyer for Juventus midfielder Nicol.. Fagioli acknowledged Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, that the player is being investigated by prosecutors in Turin for betting online via unauthorized websites. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)

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Juventus’ Nicolo Fagioli. File pic

Fagioli had five months of a one-year ban suspended and was fined €12,500 (£10,848), and agreed to have six months of treatment for his gambling problem, the FIGC said.

Tonali, who has 15 senior caps for Italy, has made seven Premier League appearances.

His agent, Giuseppe Riso, admitted the player is fighting a gambling addiction, while speaking at an event at the Italian embassy in London on Tuesday.

Mr Riso said: “Sandro suffers gambling addiction. He’s fighting to avoid that and I’m sure he will win this difficult game.

“He is in shock, he is shaken and sad. I hope that this experience saves his life and that of many others, that it helps those who fall into the same habit as him.

“Sandro is training, and on Saturday he could also play.”

Written by: Newsroom

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