Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali has been hit with a 10-month suspension by the FIGC (Italian Football Federation) and UEFA. On top of the ban, the Italian will face a fine and will also participate in an eight-month rehabilitation programme.

The 23-year-old has been at the forefront of the recent Italian football betting scandal, and it is expected that the case will continue to unfold, with several other names expected to come out.

Although gambling is not illegal in Italy, those employed in football are not allowed to place bets on the sport. Should they be found to have done so, they would be in breach of Article 24 of the Code of Sports Justice.

Before Tonali received his ban, only Nicolo Fagioli had been suspended and fined. However, investigations are still ongoing and more players may yet be involved, along with Fagioli, Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo.

On October 26, the FIGC president Gabriele Gravina confirmed to Sky Sport Italia (via Football Italia) that a 10-month ban is Tonali’s punishment. “The FIGC Prosecutor and Tonali have reached an agreement which I have already approved,” said Gravina. “The agreement consists of a 10-month ban plus eight months of rehab activities and at least 16 public appearances.”

Background to Tonali’s gambling ban

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

Sandro Tonali, along with Nicolo Zaniolo from Aston Villa, was allowed to leave the Italy Men’s National Team training camp after he was named by Fabrizio Corona, and placed under investigation.

It was revealed that Tonali had been placing bets when he was playing for AC Milan and Brescia on illegal betting sites, as well as gambling on Rossoneri and Rondinelle games while at those clubs. It should be noted that Tonali only ever backed his teams to win, which saved him from far more serious charges within football.

However, the Newcastle midfielder did not come forward to the FIGC about the situation, and gambled on his own team, meaning his punishment is harsher than Fagioli‘s.

The Rossoneri are not believed to have been aware of the midfielder’s problems with gambling, which means his current club, Newcastle United, will not be able to press charges against the Serie A club. However, Corriere dello Sport has reported that the Premier League side are threatening legal action.

Sandro Tonali betting ban: What happens now?

Newcastle’s Sandro Tonali. [@NUFC]

The midfielder appeared as a substitute in Newcastle United’s 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace, and led a lap of honour around the stadium at full-time, signifying the suspension was somewhat close to fruition. He also featured against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday night, the day before the ban.

UEFA are believed to have attempted to rush to suspend the player to ‘avoid embarrassment over Tonali’s presence on the pitch (against Borussia Dortmund)’, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. However, the midfielder was named on the bench for the home side and came on in the 65th minute.

The 10-month suspension will also rule him out of appearing at the 2024 European Championship in Germany, where the Azzurri will be looking to retain their title if they manage to qualify for the tournament.

It is then possible that the midfielder will miss the opening few games of the 2024/25 Premier League season. Newcastle may look to suspend the Italian’s salary until he returns to be available for selection.