Sandro Tonali gets suspended two-month ban following breach of FA betting rules

Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali has been handed a suspended two-month ban and fined £20,000 (€23,000) for breaching Football Association betting rules.

The FA announced on Thursday that an independent regulatory commission had imposed the sanction, which will be in force throughout the 2024-25 season, on the 23-year-old Italy international and warned him as to his future conduct after he had admitted 50 offences.

Tonali, a £55million summer signing from AC Milan, is currently serving a 10-month worldwide ban for similar breaches imposed by the Italian football federation (FIGC) in October last year.

An FA statement read: “An independent Regulatory Commission has sanctioned Newcastle United’s Sandro Tonali for misconduct in relation to The FA’s Betting Rules.

“The FA charged the midfielder with 50 breaches of FA Rule E8 for placing bets on football matches between 12th August 2023 and 12th October 2023, and he admitted to this.

“The independent Regulatory Commission imposed a two-month suspension from all football and football-related activity, which is suspended until the end of the 2024/25 season pending any further breaches of The FA’s Betting Rules, as well as a £20,000 fine and warning.”

The decision means Tonali, who had made just 12 appearances for the Magpies when the original suspension was imposed, will be free to play again on August 27, and that will come as a relief to head coach Eddie Howe, who saw the player’s acquisition ahead of a first Champions League campaign in two decades as a coup.

Newcastle swiftly vowed to help the player with what his agent Giuseppe Riso described as a “gambling addiction” when news of the initial offences emerged, and his co-operation with the investigation has been acknowledged by the FA.

A club statement read: “The banning period is fully suspended for the duration of the 2024/25 season, meaning he will be available to return to competitive football upon the conclusion of an existing 10-month sanction imposed by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) on 27th October 2023.

“Provided that he does not commit any further breach of the FA Betting Rules during the suspension period, Sandro will not serve any part of the two-month sanction.

“As acknowledged by the FA in the independent Regulatory Commission’s written reasons, the level of assistance Sandro has provided by self-referring and fully cooperating with a subsequent investigation is extraordinary and unprecedented.

“Sandro made full admissions as to his betting activity, and did so in circumstances where there was no other evidence to support misconduct proceedings.

“Sandro is continuing to follow a therapeutic plan and educational programme with the club’s full support and will continue to train with his team-mates.”


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