Newcastle United’s Sandro Tonali and his lawyers will travel to Rome today to enter a plea bargain with prosecutors after he admitted to gambling on football matches involving former club AC Milan.
Tonali self-reported his violations to the Italian Football Federation (FAGC) in the midst of being the subject of a raid of the Italian national squads training facility – alongside Aston Villa’s Nicolo Zaniolo – whilst his agent also revealed the midfielder has admitted to a gambling addiction.
As the 23-year-old seems more than likely to cooperate with prosecutors and the FAGC’s wider investigation into the Italian player betting scandal, Tonali may receive the same ban Nicolò Fagioli received last week.
Fagioli was handed a seven month ban from all forms of football after he admitted to breaching Italian betting laws. The 22-year-old’s name was found during a cross-analysis of users on illegal online gambling platforms.
The sanction for Tonali may not be as lenient as Fagioli however, as it is alleged that Tonali placed bets on AC Milan whilst he was still a player at the club, despite reports claiming he only placed bets on the team whilst he was not in the matchday squad.
Tonali’s lawyers will look to reduce a possibly potential worst case scenario ban of four years, down to 12 months due to the player’s willingness to cooperate and self-report.
A ban would most likely rule Tonali out for the rest of the season which will be a sore blow for Newcastle after only recently signing him for £55m last July.
Despite being the subject of a major investigation, Tonali was allowed to play for his current club, featuring in Newcastle’s 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace last weekend.
Newcastle fans gave the player a wave of support after the final whistle at St. James’ Park as his agent Giuseppe Riso is “hoping the sanction will be correct”.