UPDATE: FIFA extends Newcastle and Italy star’s 10-month ban for breaching betting rules worldwide

Image of Newcastle United's flag blowing in the wind.

Image of Newcastle United's flag blowing in the wind. Credit: rarrarorro/Shutterstock.com

UPDATE: Friday, October 27 at 11:59 pm

THE 10-month ban handed to Newcastle’s Sandro Tonali yesterday by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), has subsequently been extended worldwide by FIFA.

Football’s governing body reportedly made the decision this Friday evening after granting a request for such a measure to be taken after it was made by the FIGC, according to bbc.com.

As a result, the 23-year-old midfielder will no longer be available to play for the Magpies. That means he will start his ban by missing the Premier League match against Wolves tomorrow.

Friday, October 27 at 2:12 am

THE Newcastle United and Italy footballer Sandro Tonali was hit with a 10 month ban on Thursday, October 26, for breaching betting rules.

As a result of the ruling by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), should his nation qualify for Euro 2024, the 23-year-old midfielder will be ruled out.

After moving to St James’ Park from Serie A giants AC Milan for £55m last July, the Magpies’s second most expensive signing looks unlikely to be able to play for the club again until next August. He featured in 12 games for Eddie Howe’s side so far this season.

What will Tonali have to do now?

On top of his ban, it was confirmed in a statement from the FIGC that the player was also handed a €20,000 (approx £17,380). He was found guilty of violating violating Article 24 of a ruling that prohibits players placing bets on football events organised by FIGC, UEFA and FIFA.

According to their report, Tonali initially agreed on an 18-month ban with the federal prosecutor. However, eight months of that total will be commuted if the midfielder agrees to participate in a ‘recovery programme’ designed to aid the Italian’s ‘recovery from gambling addiction’.

As part of this ‘therapy’, Tonali must make at least 16 public appearances at ‘federal territorial centres’, gambling addiction recovery centres and amateur sports associations across Italy. On these occasions, he will be expected to discuss the dangers of betting with young players.

‘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’, Gabriele Gravina, the FIGC president, told Sky Sports Italia.

Juventus star Nicolo Fagioli was also banned for a similar offence

Nicolo Fagioli, the Juventus midfielder, was also hit with with a seven-month ban for breaching FIGC betting rules earlier this month.

He was fined €12,500 (approx £10,850) and saw his 12-month ban reduced to seven after agreeing to take part in at least six months of a similar therapy plan to tackle his gambling problem.

Whether it will be his final match in a Newcastle shirt remains to be seen but Tonali made an appearance in the Champions League during Wednesday night’s 0-1 home defeat by Borussia Dortmund.

Eddie Howe was protective of his player when interviewed before the 4-0 win over Crystal Palace last weekend. ‘He’s been dealing with a lot and, from what I can see, from a few hours a day, he’s handling himself really well and is dealing with emotions incredibly strongly’, he insisted.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com