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Friday, April 19, 2024

Newcastle’s Sandro Tonali could face new ban after FA charge for 50 betting offences

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Football

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Sandro Tonali faces the prospect of a second gambling ban after being charged by the FA for allegedly putting 50 bets on football games in just two months.

The Newcastle midfielder is already suspended for 10 months and ineligible to play until 27 August after being banned by the Italian Football Federation for bets he placed while an AC Milan player.

The £55m signing, who admitted those charges and whose ban was extended by Fifa to cover all football, has now been charged by the English FA, which suspects him of betting on further matches after joining Newcastle.

Newcastle do not expect the latest charge to delay Tonali’s return to first-team football or his ability to train with Eddie Howe’s side with the hope that any suspension, if he is found guilty, could be served concurrently with his existing ban.

But the Italy international, whose agent said last year that he was suffering from a gambling addiction and who has until 5 April to respond to the FA, runs the risk of missing much of next season. The Brentford striker Ivan Toney served an eight-month ban after being found guilty of 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules.

The FA said: “Sandro Tonali has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of the FA’s Betting Rules. It is alleged that the Newcastle United midfielder breached FA Rule E8 50 times by placing bets on football matches between 12 August 2023 and 12 October 2023.”

Newcastle pledged to support Tonali, who has only made 12 appearances since becoming the second most expensive signing in their history.

They said in a statement: “Newcastle United acknowledges a misconduct charge received by Sandro Tonali in respect of alleged breaches of FA Betting Rules.

“Sandro continues to fully comply with relevant investigations and he retains the club’s full support.”

Tonali’s cooperation with the authorities in Italy had reduced his ban, which could have been for as much as three years.

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