Tonali handed two-month suspended ban by FA for betting

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Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali has been handed a two-month suspended ban for 50 breaches of the FA’s betting rules.

Tonali joined Newcastle in a £55m move from AC Milan in the summer and is currently banned from competitive football until August 2024 for betting on matches in Italy.

He was then charged with 50 further breaches of FA Rule E8 for placing bets on football matches between 12 August 2023 and 12 October 2023, after he had joined the Magpies.

The two-month ban is suspended until the end of the 2024/25 season, meaning he will be banned from all football-related activity for that period of time if he makes another breach, but will be able to return from August 27 if he avoids further sanctions. He has also been fined £20,000 and warned by the FA as to his future conduct.

A statement published by Newcastle read: “As acknowledged by the FA in the independent Regulatory Commission’s written reasons, the level of assistance Sandro has provided by self-referring and fully cooperating with a subsequent investigation is extraordinary and unprecedented.

“Sandro made full admissions as to his betting activity, and did so in circumstances where there was no other evidence to support misconduct proceedings.

“Sandro is continuing to follow a therapeutic plan and educational programme with the club’s full support and will continue to train with his teammates.”

In the written reasons published by the FA, Tonali admitted to placing 40 to 50 bets on football between August and October of last year, including four bets on Newcastle to win.

What Newcastle bets did Tonali make?

  • An accumulator bet involving either Newcastle to beat Brighton on September 2 2023 or Newcastle to beat Burnley on September 30 2023
  • An accumulator bet including Newcastle to beat Brentford on September 16 2023
  • A single bet on Newcastle to beat Manchester City on September 27 2023
  • An accumulator bet including Newcastle to beat West Ham on October 8 2023.

The 23-year-old – who admitted he was aware that betting on football is illegal – played in four out of the five matches, and was an unused substitute in the other.

Tonali said he cannot remmeber the exact amount he stated on each bet, but it would not be more than €10,000 (£8,560). He also confessed he would have put other bets on involving Premier League matches, but he denied placing any bets on the Champions League or international football.

The written reasons also say that Tonali self-reported the breaches on October 20 2023, which was deemed “the earliest possible opportunity”.

The news comes after Brentford striker Ivan Toney completed an eight-month ban for breaching FA betting rules which, unlike Tonali’s 10-month ban, saw him suspended from all football-related activity. He returned to action in January 2024.

Last September, Nottingham Forest defender Harry Tofolo was given a suspended five-month ban after admitting 375 breaches of betting rules, having placed 40 historical bets involving his own team – 15 of those against his own team.

Toffolo’s deteriorating mental health and belief his football career was in decline was “very substantial mitigation” for his breaching FA betting rules, according to an independent regulatory commission.

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