Newcastle's Tonali Faces Global Ban Over Betting Breach
|Sandro Tonali of Newcastle looks on after the UEFA Champions League match between Newcastle United FC and Borussia Dortmund at St. James Park on October 25, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.(Image-Getty)
FIFA has confirmed that Newcastle United's Sandro Tonali will face a worldwide ban following his 18-month suspension from the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) for breaching betting regulations. While eight months of the ban will be subject to alternative treatment under an agreement with the Federal Prosecutor's Office, the remaining duration will prevent the Italian midfielder from representing his Premier League side.
In response to the FIGC's request for the global applicability of Tonali's ban, FIFA has officially mandated its enforcement, effective immediately. As Newcastle awaits official communication from Italian authorities, manager Eddie Howe expressed uncertainty regarding Tonali's potential participation in their upcoming match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
Tonali, who joined Newcastle from AC Milan in July for a reported record fee of 70 million euros ($73.95 million), faces the prospect of missing the remainder of the season and potentially the 2024 European Championship if Italy secures qualification. His recent appearance for the club occurred during the second half of their 1-0 defeat by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old's situation is part of a larger betting scandal in Italian soccer, with his agent attributing his actions to a gambling addiction. Similarly, Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli recently accepted a seven-month ban from the FIGC due to gambling issues.
Tonali's case evokes memories of Brentford's England striker Ivan Toney, who was banned for eight months in May for 232 breaches of the Football Association's betting regulations. Similarly, Tonali's Newcastle teammate Kieran Trippier faced a 10-week suspension in 2020 when he breached betting rules during his tenure at Atletico Madrid.