Football star hit with new betting ban

UK

Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali has been fined £20,000 and handed a suspended two-month ban for breaching the Football Association’s (FA) betting rules.

Italian international Tonali, 23, is also currently serving a separate 10-month suspension imposed by the Italian Football Federation for similar offences.

He was fined by the FA on Thursday after he admitted 50 breaches of betting rules. Tonali placed bets on football matches between 12 August 2023 and 12 October 2023.

But Newcastle say the FA ban from all football activity is “fully suspended for the duration of the 2024/25 season” – meaning he will not serve any ban next season, as long as he does not commit any further breach of the FA’s betting rules during that time.

The decision means Tonali should be allowed to play football again in August.

He signed for Newcastle in a deal worth £55m last summer but the Italian Football Federation’s ban – which was reduced to 10 months after an initial 18-month penalty – means he has not played competitive football since October 2023.

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Newcastle added after the FA decision: “The level of assistance Sandro has provided by self-referring and fully cooperating with a subsequent investigation is extraordinary and unprecedented.

“Sandro made full admissions as to his betting activity, and did so in circumstances where there was no other evidence to support misconduct proceedings.

“Sandro is continuing to follow a therapeutic plan and educational programme with the club’s full support and will continue to train with his teammates.”

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