Newcastle’s Sandro Tonali Charged by Football Association for Alleged Betting Violations

Tonali is currently serving an eight-month ban by Italy’s soccer federation, and is part of a group of European soccer players entangled in gambling controversies.

Mar 28, 2024 • 15:51 ET • 4 min read
Newcastle Sandro Tonali
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Sandro Tonali saga has taken another turn, as the Italian midfielder has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association for breaching English soccer’s betting rules.

The ruling comes on the heels of the Newcastle playmaker earning a 10-month ban by Italy’s soccer federation last October. 

“It’s alleged that the Newcastle United midfielder breached FA Rule E8 60 times by placing bets on football matches" between Aug. 12, 2023 and Oct. 12, 2023, the FA said via a spokesperson release on X, formerly Twitter. Tonali has until April 5 to respond.

Tonali, 23, joined Newcastle during the summer 2023 transfer window on a deal worth a reported 60 million pounds from AC Milan – a club he reportedly placed bets on while playing for them.

Currently, in conjunction with his ban, the Italian countryman is participating in a therapeutic plan that involves treatment for gambling addiction. The midfielder’s agent, Giuseppe Riso, also acknowledged to prosecutors that his client had a gambling problem.

The latest alleged offences, which reportedly include as many as 50 violations, are said to have taken place while registered as a Newcastle player, hence the involvement of the FA in the latest ruling. Tonali could also face possible sanctions, as decided and deemed appropriate by an independent commission, according to SkySports.

Not an isolated incident

Tonali’s most recent ban comes amidst a slew of concerns across sports with gambling’s continued encroachment from the sidelines into the playing field. 

Fellow Italian soccer player Nicolo Fagioli has also been slapped with punishments for his involvement in gambling violations while playing for Juventus last year. The pair is joined by a wider group of more than a dozen Serie A players involved in an investigation related to improper use of online betting sites.

Meanwhile, across the pond, Major League Baseball’s Opening Day is overshadowed by the continued investigation by federal authorities and MLB’s Department of Investigation into the involvement of former Dodgers interpreter Ippei Mizuhara with a California bookmaker and his alleged “massive theft” of Shohei Ohtani.

As for Tonali and his future, his existing ban is set to expire on July 14, though his latest charges could place that return date into jeopardy. Meanwhile, Newcastle United has remained steadfast in its support.

"Sandro continues to fully comply with relevant investigations and he retains the club's full support,” the club said in a statement. "Due to this ongoing process, Sandro and Newcastle United are unable to offer further comment at this time."

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