FIFA extend Sandro Tonali’s 10-month ban for illegal gambling worldwide, meaning the Newcastle midfielder CAN’T feature at Wolves this weekend, despite Eddie Howe saying on Friday that he had a ‘high chance’ of playing
- Sandro Tonali received a 10-month ban from football due to illegal gambling
- Eddie Howe had claimed he could potentially still play for Newcastle tomorrow
- However, FIFA have now confirmed his ban has been extended worldwide
Sandro Tonali’s 10-month ban for illegal gambling has been confirmed after FIFA extended it worldwide.
It was announced on Thursday that Tonali was set to receive a suspension after being named in an investigation by Italian prosecutors and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) into allegations of illegal betting earlier this month.
However, on Friday, Eddie Howe had claimed during his pre-match press conference ahead of Newcastle’s game with Wolves that Tonali still had a ‘high chance’ of playing at Molineux.
He had said: ‘It’s difficult because we haven’t had that official confirmation as a football club yet. We’ve heard the news and speculation statement, but we haven’t had anything from the Italian authorities at the moment so we’re in limbo really waiting for that official confirmation to come through.
‘I think there’s a high chance he could be available for us. There has to be a few things that have to happen before the ban is imposed so let’s see.’
Sandro Tonali’s 10-month ban for illegal gambling has been extended worldwide by FIFA
Eddie Howe had claimed earlier on Friday that Tonali could play against Wolves tomorrow
However, later on Friday evening, FIFA granted the Italian Football Federation’s (FIGC) request for Tonali’s 10-month ban to be extended worldwide, with this suspension effectively immediately.
The midfielder is therefore now ruled out for the foreseeable future, including tomorrow’s clash against Gary O’Neil’s side.
A statement from the Italian FA on Thursday confirmed the Federal Prosecutor’s Office had reached an agreement over an 18-month sanction with Tonali.
The sanction will consist of a 10-month ban from football, while eight months will be form of a ‘therapeutic plan’ to help his ‘recovery from gambling addiction.’
This will include at least 16 public appearances in Italy at amateur sports associations and ‘federal territorial centres.’
Tonali was also fined £17,380 for breaching FIGC rules that prohibited players from placing bets on football events organised by FIGC, UEFA and FIFA.
Howe praised Tonali for how he has handled himself since news broke that the £52million summer signing was under investigation, with the Italian international having featured against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League this week.
‘I think you saw from the Dortmund game he came on and did really well. He was bright. That’s how he’s trained,’ Howe said.
FIFA granted the FIGC’s request to implement the ban worldwide so he is now unavailable
Tonali came off the bench during Tuesday’s Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund
‘From the moment this happened I think his training performances have been very good. That’s the only way I can judge it. His mood is the same, he’s good around the group, good around the training ground.
‘Obviously it is there in the background and I’m sure when he goes home there’s difficult times for him. From what I can see he’s handling himself in the right way.’
Unlike Brentford’s Ivan Toney, Tonali is expected to be allowed to take part in training and behind closed doors games at Newcastle, but will be ruled out of contention for the Euros, should Italy qualify.
Meanwhile, reports have claimed Newcastle are exploring avenues to reduce Sandro Tonali’s wages at the club during the ban.
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