Juventus player Nicolò Fagioli has been handed a seven-month suspension after the Italian Football Federation (FAGC) found the player to have broken the country’s betting rules.
The 22-year-old midfielder will also be ordered to pay a €12,500 fine and attend at least 10 public meetings at amateur sports associations to speak on problem gambling harms. If provisions are not met, the FAGC notes that the ban will be extended to 12 months.
An FAGC statement read: “The Federal Prosecutor’s Office has reached an agreement (pursuant to article 126 CGS) with the footballer Nicolò Fagioli following which he will be sanctioned with a 12-month disqualification, five of which will be commuted to alternative prescriptions, and a fine of 12,500 euros, for the violation of article 24 of the CGS which prohibits the possibility of placing bets on football events organised by FIGC, UEFA and FIFA.
“Regarding alternative prescriptions, Fagioli will have to participate in a therapeutic plan lasting a minimum of six months and in a cycle of at least 10 public meetings, to be held within five months, at amateur sports associations, federal territorial centres, centres for recovery from gambling addiction, and in any case according to the indications and program proposed by the FIGC.”
Fagioli was taken in by Turin prosecutors last week over betting violations that stemmed from cross-referencing illegal online gambling sites in Italy, with his name appearing in the investigation.
The ban will begin retroactive from the official communication received by prosecutors to the FAGC, meaning Fagioli could potentially make his return in late May towards the latter stages of the season.
The FAGC added that it will monitor the players compliance and in case of violations to the penalties “will adopt the measures within its competence, pursuant to the CGS”.
Fagioli’s agent, Marco Giordano, told La Repubblica that he informed the 22-year-old midfielder to report himself prior to the penalties as he cooperated with officials in Turin, later admitting he had a gambling addiction.
Giordano said: “The only thing we can say is that our client already had problems when he signed for us. It was close to summer, the first thing we told him was to get treatment.
“There was no mismanagement, we advised him to self-report and treat himself. Nicolò is suffering from ludopathy, a problem that arose when we were not his agents.”
Fagioli’s ban is minimised due to his cooperation, meaning the player avoided a maximum suspension of up to three years. Reports suggest that the Juve player is part of a 40 player betting scandal in Italy, with Premier League stars Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo also allegedly involved.