Newcastle United has confirmed that midfielder Sandro Tonali is under investigation by Italian prosecutors in connection with alleged illegal betting activity. Tonali was withdrawn from Italy’s training camp ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and England due to the ongoing investigation.
Tonali, along with Aston Villa’s Nicolo Zaniolo, was named in an Italian football betting probe last week whiles Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli was recently handed a seven-month suspension and fined €12,500 by the FIGC for contravening betting regulations. After being questioned by the police, Tonali briefly returned to Newcastle and trained with the club before traveling back to Italy for a hearing at the prosecutor’s office in Turin.
The midfielder is reported to have admitted to placing bets on football matches, including games involving his former club AC Milan, both when he played and when he did not. This admission puts Tonali at risk of a potential three-year suspension from global football, although a lesser ban is anticipated given his cooperation and admission of guilt.
Newcastle United has affirmed its support for Tonali and his family as the investigation continues. The club’s official statement mentioned that Tonali is fully cooperating with the investigation and that the club is unable to provide further comment at this time due to the ongoing process.
Tonali’s agent, Giuseppe Riso, confirmed that the player is struggling with a gambling addiction and has been profoundly affected by the investigation. Riso stated that Tonali is receiving treatment for his addiction and emphasized that the midfielder is available to play for Newcastle United.
Newcastle has not specified whether Tonali is available to play for the club in their upcoming Premier League match against Crystal Palace. Tonali, a 15-cap Italy international, joined Newcastle from AC Milan for approximately £55 million during the summer transfer window. He quickly became a first-team regular under manager Eddie Howe, making ten appearances in all competitions this season, and even scoring on his debut against Aston Villa.