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Newcastle United have confirmed Sandro Tonali has been banned for ten months for betting on football matches and that he’ll be available to return to competitive action on Tuesday 27 August, 2024.
The 23-year-old was found guilty of betting offences from his time at AC Milan, with his agent subsequently confirming that Tonali is suffering from a gambling addiction.
The scandal has rocked Italian football – Nicolo Fagioli has also banned for seven months while Aston Villa’s Nicolo Zaniolo is under investigation – and further players could still be named as Turin-based prosecutors continue to uncover evidence.
News broke on Friday that Tonali’s punishment would be a worldwide football ban, and a Newcastle club statement has confirmed the length of his absence as well as the measures that will be put in place to help Tonali overcome his addiction.
“Sandro Tonali has been banned from competitive football for ten months, as effective from Friday, 27th October 2023, following illegal betting charges by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC),” the statement read.
“FIGC’s sanction includes an overall 18-month ban, with eight months commuted as the player participates in a therapeutic plan and educational programme in Italy consisting of 16 commitments.
“On the evening of Friday, 27th October, Newcastle United received confirmation that FIFA has endorsed FIGC’s sanction to be applied worldwide, meaning Sandro will be eligible to return to competitive football from Tuesday, 27th August 2024.”
90min understands that Newcastle are already exploring potential loan signings to cover for Tonali in the January transfer window, amid ongoing concerns over Financial Fair Play compliance.
The Magpies invested heavily in their playing squad over the summer, signing Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Tino Livaramento in big-money deals, and now need to rein back their spending in order to meet Premier League rules.
Ideally the club want to sign a new central defender, forward and ‘number 10’, but have one eye on Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips as they seek to balance out the loss of Tonali. Ruben Neves, who signed for PIF-backed Al Hilal in the summer, could also become an option as Newcastle look to build on a promising start to the 2023/24 season.
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