Former AC Milan starboy and present Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali is slapped with a 10-month ban from the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) for his actions that violated the country’s gambling regulations. Since the suspension will only end in August 2024, the Lodi-born footballer is set to miss the rest of the 2023/2024 Season for his new club at Newcastle United, and even if Italy do qualify for the UEFA Euro 2024 Finals, his chances of representing the country at Germany next year had also vanished. The FIGC also made it mandatory for Sandro Tonali to commit the following eight months for a rehabilitation programme back in Italy.
The former AC Milan midfielder’s 10-month ban came after the Italian Football Federation reached an agreement with the player and released a statement regarding his gambling violations. The official announcement reads “The Federal Prosecutor’s Office has reached an agreement (Pursuant to art. 126 CGS) with the footballer Sandro Tonali, following which he will be sanctioned with an 18-month disqualification, 8 of which will be commuted to alternative prescriptions, and a fine of 20,000 euros, for the violation of art.24 of the CGS which prohibits the possibility of placing bets on football events organized by FIGC, UEFA and FIFA.
“Regarding alternative prescriptions, Tonali will have to participate in a therapeutic plan lasting a minimum of 8 months and in a cycle of at least 16 public meetings, to be held in Italy, over a period of 8 months, at amateur sports associations, federal territorial centres, for recovery from gambling addiction, and in any case according to the indications and program proposed by the FIGC. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office will ensure compliance with what is indicated and, in case of violations, will adopt the measures within its competence, pursuant to the CGS, with termination of the agreement and continuation of the disciplinary proceedings before the sports justice adjudicating bodies.”
According to the statement, Sandro Tonali’s ban is understood to be a period of 10 months, keeping him sidelined until late August next year. Apart from that 10 months he is set to be suspended, Sandro Tonali also have to commit himself for an eight-month rehabilitation plan, meaning he will have to make at least 16 public visits back to his home country for a chance to cure himself from the severe gambling addiction he is suffering from.
Who Is Sandro Tonali?
Now, in case you have not been following the player’s development, Sandro Tonali has been tipped to be the “Next Andrea Pirlo” since the start of his career due to his presence and playing style on the field. Being a strong, fast and creative midfielder who can play in the central area or as a deep-lying role, Sandro Tonali graduated from the Brescia Calcio academy and went on to play for the senior side for three seasons. His performances attracted Serie A giants Milan to sign him for a season-long loan deal in the 2020/2021 Season, before Rossoneri made the deal permanent for the young and promising Italian midfielder.
It was during that next two seasons that saw Sandro Tonali realise his potential as a versatile player in the middle park of the field. He notched seven goals in 130 appearances in all competitions for Milan across three seasons, and was part of the Rossoneri squad that captured the 2021/2022 Italian Serie A title, a trophy that the team has not won for more than a decade. These amazing statistics and silverware then led to his €70-million move to the up and rising Newcastle United, making his the most expensive Italian footballer of all time and the second most expensive player in Magpies’ history.
Sandro Tonali was included Newcastle United squad that thrashed French Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 in that famous night at St. James’ Park, and with the 10-month ban taking effect, the 23-year-old Italian will not be available for that return leg against PSG at Paris a fortnight later. Check out on how the Magpies impressively stunned the Kylian Mbappé-led side earlier this month in this detailed article now.
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What Does Sandro Tonali’s 10-Month Ban Mean for Italy and Newcastle United?
So what does Sandro Tonali’s suspension mean for the gli Azzuri and the Magpies? In terms of national settings, the 23-year-old midfielder, who made 15 appearances for Italy since making his senior debut back in 2019, will miss his first ever chance of playing in the UEFA Euro Finals, should the country does qualify for Germany 2024 next year; Italy currently sit third in Group C of the 2024 UEFA Euro Qualifiers with two games remaining, and a win against second-placed Ukraine will potentially earn them an automatic ticket to the Finals for their Euro title defence campaign next summer.
As for his club endeavours, Eddie Howe was very pleased with Sandro Tonali’s arrival to England from Italian Serie A powerhouses Milan, but the 45-year-old’s side will now have to cope with the prolonged absence of the second most expensive signing in Magpies’ history on their way to achieve more this season, having finished last season with a fourth place in the English Premier League and a runner-up run to the EFL Cup. In light of Sandro Tonali’s 10-month ban from football, rumour has it that Newcastle United will be looking for the services of players such as Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips, Manchester United’s Scott McTominay or former Wolverhampton Wanderer Rúben Neves as a temporary replacement.
Do you think with Sandro Tonali’s lengthy ban, Italy can make it into the 2024 UEFA Euro Finals to defend their European Championship title and that Newcastle United can continue to soar with their oil-rich supports this 2023/2024 Season? Leave us your comment down in the section below, your thoughts will be valuable for us to provide the latest news and updates in the world of sports.