Sandro Tonali plea bargain eyed to reduce Newcastle ban as agent and therapist speak out

Newcastle United and Sandro Tonali are awaiting word on the length of his prospective football suspension.

Eddie Howe feels that the most difficult part of Sandro Tonali’s journey is now ahead of him as the Newcastle United midfielder awaits his penalty for betting on sports matches. Tonali, 23, came off the bench to rousing acclaim during Newcastle’s 4-0 win against Crystal Palace on Saturday, but the brief outing may be the only time Newcastle supporters see the summer signing on the pitch for a long time.

Tonali’s attorneys are scheduled in Rome on Monday to arrange a plea agreement for the player. The expectation is that by completely collaborating with the authorities in the inquiry, any football ban can be greatly reduced.


Sandro Tonali betting scandal pushes boundaries of sympathy for him and  Newcastle


“Who knows what’s going to happen next?” I just think it’s fantastic for him to know he has the backing not just of the football club’s senior management and the manager, but also of the supporters, who are the most important people.”

Tonali allegedly bet on AC Milan to win matches when he was at the club, which would be a major violation of Italian regulations. Article 24 of the FIGC’s sporting code stipulates that placing or accepting bets on tournaments organized by the FIGC, FIFA, or UEFA is prohibited.

Cooperation with authorities and attendance at disease rehabilitation, on the other hand, can take time off the suspension. Nicolo Fagioli of Juventus was the first player to be caught in the scandal, and he has already received a 12-month ban, which has been reduced to seven months due to his unrelenting support for the investigation.

Tonali’s agent, Beppe Riso, appears to believe that recent rumors about the length of a ban is exaggerated. Riso intimated to DAZN over the weekend that Tonali might not be penalized for everything he’s been accused of in recent weeks.

“Sandro will pay for what he did wrong but he won’t be punished for what he didn’t do,” he said over the weekend. “I’ve already read too many sentences around. I hope the correct sanction is given for what it represents for our football, it is an Italian heritage.”

Tonali is reportedly set to attend treatment with the famed Professor Gabriele Sani who has already spoken out about how easy it is to fall into this type of addiction. “Gambling addiction is a pathological dependence and there are some internationally recognised definitions to recognise and identify it. The most evident is when the pleasure of gambling is replaced by feeling the ‘need’ to do it,” Sani told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“This pathology can strike anyone, without distinction. Young players have the stress and responsibility of external pressures and media attention. These are situations that can generate anxiety and a dysfunctional mechanism to ‘cure’ anxiety can become the adrenaline of gambling. It becomes a compulsive behaviour, something they cannot control, in which eventually the winning of money becomes entirely irrelevant.”

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