‘Agreement’ - Sandro Tonali avoids Newcastle Utd training ground punishment - but gets 10-month ban

Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Sandro Tonali can train with Newcastle United despite being handed a 10-month ban from football.

Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali will serve a 10-month ban from football, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has announced.

The 23-year-old, who moved to St James’ Park from AC Milan for £52million in the summer, has been subject to investigation by the Italian Prosecutor’s Office and FIGC in relation to illegal betting activity.

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Tonali has featured in matches against Crystal Palace and Borussia Dortmund whilst the investigation continued. The verdict means the midfielder is suspended until August 2024 but, in a major boost, can train with his Magpies teammates as normal.

Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

As part of the agreement, Tonali will undergo an eight-month rehabilitation programme.

“An agreement has already been reached between the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and Sandro Tonali, which occurred before the referral, therefore it must be endorsed by the undersigned, which I have already done,’ said Gabriele Gravina, the president of the FIGC.

“A plea bargain is envisaged for 18 months of which 8 months is activity recovery, some concerns therapeutic activity and at least 16 face-to-face meetings as testimony.

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“A plea bargain is foreseen, mitigating circumstances are foreseen, the boys collaborated beyond belief, so we continue to respect the rules we have set for ourselves.”

Newcastle are yet to release a club statement responding to the news but head coach Eddie Howe has already pledged his support for Tonali, who is a confessed gambling addict.

Howe said last week: “The most important part of all this is Sandro and his welfare. It’s very easy for people to forget how young he is and the changes he’s had in his life coming from Italy to England - that’s hard enough to deal with and now he has this situation.

“Straight away we threw our arms around him and protect him and try and give him the love and support that he needs to find solution to the problems he’s had, and that’s what we’re endevouring to do with a lot of conversations and communication with him and his family.

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“It’s not just Sandro, it’s the people around him that are going to be so important to him as well. It’s been a big effort from us and I have to say he’s handled himself superbly well. Obviously emotional but he’s handled himself with respect and dignity.”

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