Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali has been banned from football for ten months after accepting charges of betting on matches, including those of his former club AC Milan, whom he left this summer to move to Newcastle for 55 million pounds (66.7 million US dollars).
The suspension means Tonali played his last game of the season on Wednesday as a substitute in Newcastle’s 1-0 Champions League defeat at home to Borussia Dortmund, and will also miss next summer’s European Championships and the start of the 2024-25 campaign.
The decision was confirmed by the Italian Football Federation president Gabriele Gravina, who said Tonali would also receive help in order to help him recover from his gambling addiction.
“We can’t just think about punishing the boys and not helping them recover,” said Gravina, adding that he would prefer for Tonali “to spend “eight months of giving talks about what [he] went through, in an honest way and with the right behavior.”
Tonali’s representative Giuseppe Riso explained that “Sandro suffers from gambling addiction.”
“He is in shock; he is shaken and sad. I hope that this experience saves his life and that of many others, that it helps those who fall into the same habit as him.”
Newcastle said they will offer the player their “full support,” although it is unclear whether they will pay his wages for the duration of his ban.