Tonali ban extended to worldwide effect

Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali has been banned for 10 months for a gambling offense which has come into effect. The ban has been ratified by FIFA, despite Newcastle boss Eddie Howe previously stating that Tonali could still play.

Tonali had previously been under investigation by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the Turin prosecutor’s office, but at his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, Howe still said the 23-year-old could still play.

“We’ve heard the news, but it’s just a statement and we haven’t heard from the Italian authorities yet,” Howe said. “I think there’s a good chance he’ll play for us again. I think there are a few more things that need to happen before the ban kicks in, so let’s wait and see.”

In announcing the ban, FIGC President Gabriele Gravina said, “An agreement has been reached between the federal prosecutor and Sandro Tonali, which I have approved. A plea agreement is expected to be reached for 18 months, eight of which will be spent on rehabilitative activities and therapy and at least 16 face-to-face meetings.”

It is unclear whether Tonali will still be able to train with Newcastle during his ban and Howe admitted that the club were unaware of the situation when the Italian player was signed for £55million last summer.

“You make a decision based on the knowledge you have at the time,” Howe added. “We really like him as a footballer and didn’t know it was even a possibility. Of course, we’re going to be frustrated and disappointed that we haven’t had a great player for a while.”

Tonali ban extended to worldwide effect

“It shows that nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. It’s a valuable lesson to learn. We need a team strong enough to cope with these things. It’s part of life and soccer.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the midfielder’s future, Howe was impressed with his attitude ahead of his lengthy ban.

“He did a great job when he came on as a substitute against Borussia Dortmund. His training performances have been very good from the moment this happened,” he explained. “His mood stays the same. It’s in the background and I’m sure there are difficult periods for him.”

Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali has been banned for 10 months for a gambling offense which has come into effect. The ban has been ratified by FIFA, despite Newcastle boss Eddie Howe previously stating that Tonali could still play. Tonali had previously been under investigation by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the Turin prosecutor’s office,…

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