Italy betting scandal: Newcastle star Tonali and Aston Villa’s Zaniolo embroiled – pair leave Azzurri training camp

With an investigation into betting breaches by Juventus' Nicolo Fagioli underway, Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali and Aston Villa's Nicolo Zaniolo are also accused of breaking gambling laws.

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Following revelations that Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli is being investigated for alleged betting rules breaches, it is reported that Italy Men’s National Team internationals Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo are also under scrutiny.

According to an investigation by paparazzo Fabrizio Corona, and as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Tonali and Zaniolo placed bets whilst playing in Italy, for AC Milan and AS Roma respectively, and could be set for lengthy bans.

Following his report that Fagioli was under investigation for illegal betting, Corona hinted that two more high-profile Italian footballers had committed offences and has now moved to name them.

AC Milan’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Newcastle’s Sandro Tonali battle for the ball. [Photo: acmilan.com]

Tonali and Zaniolo under investigation, sent home from international duty

In the case of Zaniolo, who left Roma for Galatasaray when his relationship with the Giallorossi collapsed in January, and subsequently joined Premier League club Aston Villa this summer, the allegations are particularly serious.

The attacking midfielder is accused of placing bets on Roma‘s results whilst sitting on the bench for the club during a Coppa Italia tie last season, and the ramifications of this could be heavy.

Tonali, who joined Newcastle United in a deal reported to be worth €70 million in July, is also accused of making bets on matches in Serie A, though there is no suggestion that these stakes involved Milan.

As confirmed by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), the pair have been sent back to their respective clubs from Italy’s Coverciano training base, and will not be considered for selection for upcoming Euro 2024 qualification matches against Malta and England.

Meanwhile, the two players were served with documents and are now under a formal police investigation.

Spain’s Rodri and Italy’s Nicolo Zaniolo do battle. [@Azzurri_En]

Fagioli admits to betting offences

Meanwhile, according to Corriere della Sera, JuventusFagioli has now admitted to breaching Italy’s gambling rules in relation to sports people, with the hope of reducing a sentence that could see him banned for up to three years.

Public prosecutor Manuela Pedrotta has a dossier on the investigation, and it must be clarified as to whether Fagioli did place bets or not, and what exactly he bet on.

Although gambling is not illegal in Italy, sports people have different rules. Regardless of whether they are athletes, coaches or executives, they are not allowed to place bets on the respective sport that they are involved in.

Article 24 of the Code of Sports Justice states that it prohibits “the subjects of the federal system, managers, members, and members of clubs belonging to the professional sector from making or accepting bets, directly or indirectly, even from persons authorised to receive them, which have as their object results relating to official matches organised within the framework of the FIGC, FIFA, and UEFA.”

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