The Football Association of England has opened an investigation into suspended Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali to see if he broke betting rules even after joining the Premier League in the summer. The 23-year-old Italian international received a ten-month ban from the domestic federation in October for betting on football. FIFA confirmed the punishment worldwide.
During the investigation, Tonali admitted that he had bet on football in the past, in addition to the matches of Brescia and AC Milan when he played for them. He made a £55m move to Newcastle from AC Milan in the summer and the FA now want to find out if he continued to gamble afterwards.
Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth told the BBC he was unsure whether Milan knew about Tonali’s gambling addiction when they sold him. “It was a huge shock for us, a huge surprise. We’ve never experienced anything like this. It came out of the blue,” he said. “It’s hard to say what other clubs knew or didn’t know. We can only focus on our internal investigation.” he added.
When asked directly by the BBC, the Milan club replied that they only learned about the allegations against Tonali from the media. The club does not have any other information.
Tonali made just 12 appearances for Newcastle before being handed a 10-month ban. In the betting scandal that affected Italian football, he was sentenced to a total of 18 months. As part of the agreement with the Italian union and the prosecutor’s office, he will serve eight months in an alternative way and undergo therapy. National team colleague Nicolo Fagioli was suspended for seven months. Another Villa national team player, Aston Villa’s Zaniolo, is still under investigation, but is likely to get away without punishment because he did not bet on football.