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Sandro Tonali receives a two-month suspended ban from the FA

Published: Updated: 10:33, 3 May 2024
Newcastle United midfielder is currently serving a ten-month ban for breaching betting rules issued by the Italian FA

The Football Association (FA) has officially sanctioned Newcastle United midfielder, Sandro Tonali, for multiple breaches of its betting regulations.

Tonali was charged with 50 violations of FA Rule E8 for placing bets on football matches between 12 August and 12 October 2023. These included wagers on his own team's fixtures - Newcastle United. The Italian striker admitted to these betting breaches when charged by the FA.

As a result of his actions, he has been fined £20,000 and issued with a warning. More significantly, he has been handed a two-month suspension from all football and football-related activity.

In an interesting turn of events, a statement from Newcastle United revealed that this two-month suspension is itself suspended until the end of the 2024/25 season. This means that once Tonali serves his ten-month ban issued by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) on 27 October 2023 - which is set to expire later this year - he can return to playing for Newcastle.

A Newcastle United statement read:

“As acknowledged by the FA in the independent Regulatory Commission’s written reasons, 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.”

However, there is one crucial caveat. If Tonali breaches betting rules again during this period, his two-month suspension will immediately come into effect.

Another big betting ban handed out by the FA

This is the latest in several high-profile suspensions dished out by the FA due to betting breaches.

Perhaps most notable was Brentford striker Ivan Toney's eight-month suspension in May 2023 due to similar offences. This was followed four months later by Nottingham Forest defender Harry Toffolo receiving a five-month ban.

These incidents serve as stark reminders about maintaining integrity within sports and respecting established regulations around sports betting activities.

The case of Sandro Tonali is a significant one for sports fans and sports betting enthusiasts alike. It underscores the importance of adhering to betting regulations within football, highlighting the severe consequences that can follow such breaches.

As Tonali prepares to serve his suspension, it remains to be seen how this will impact Newcastle United next season. One thing is certain. All eyes will be on Tonali upon his return, with hopes high that he can steer clear of further controversy and focus on what he does best - playing football.

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