Sandro Tonali charged with misconduct by English FA over breaches of betting rules


Sandro Tonali runs with the ball during the Newcastle United Training Session at the Newcastle United Training Centre on February 14, 2024 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali, already serving a 10-month ban over betting breaches in his homeland of Italy, has been charged by the English Football Association with misconduct for allegedly breaching its own rules on gambling on matches.

Tonali, 23, was sanctioned by the Italian football federation (FIGC) last October over betting breaches committed when he was playing for Serie A side AC Milan.

The English FA said in a statement: "It's 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."

The FA added that Tonali has until April 5 to respond to the misconduct charge.

Should Tonali be found guilty, he faces another lengthy ban that will most likely rule him out until next year.

The new charges relate to offences allegedly committed by Tonali following his €70 million move to Newcastle last July, the highest fee ever paid for an Italian player.

But Tonali was told on October 12 that he was involved in an investigation by prosecutors in Italy. He was banned two weeks later, effectively ending his debut season with Newcastle after he made eight league appearances.

Tonali was the highest profile player caught up in a betting scandal that shook Italian football last year. He was fined €20,000, was initially given an 18-month ban which was reduced after he agreed to take part in an eight-month "therapeutic plan" to help "recovery from gambling addiction".

"Sandro continues to fully comply with relevant investigations and he retains the club's full support," Newcastle said in a statement on Thursday.

Tonali's absence has been keenly felt by Newcastle who have struggled to replicate last season's success when they ended a 20-year wait to return to Champions League football when by finishing fourth in the Premier League.

The Magpies sit a lowly 10th in the Premier League standings. They host West Ham United on Saturday.

His current ban means Tonali is not eligible to play again until August and will not feature at Euro 2024 for defending champions Italy.

Tonali was the second major player last year to receive a ban for betting on matches after England international Ivan Toney.

The Brentford striker was banned for eight months and fined £50,000 after admitting to 232 breaches of the English FA's betting rules.

He returned to action in January and earned a call-up to the England squad earlier this month, scoring on his international return against Belgium on Tuesday.

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