Newcastle player given 2-month suspended soccer ban for breaking betting rules

Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali was suspended for two months for breaching betting rules, the English Football Association said on Thursday.

Tonali is already serving a 10-month ban issued by the Italian federation for betting on teams he played for, which has ruled him out of action since October.

The FA said Tonali admitted to breaching its rules on 50 occasions by placing bets on matches last year from Aug. 12 to Oct. 12. He self-reported these breaches on Oct. 20 and admitted to betting on four Newcastle matches — three of which he was involved in — but always on his team to win.

An independent regulatory commission sanctioned 23-year-old Tonali with a two-month ban that was suspended until the end of next season “pending any further breaches” of the betting rules as well as a fine equivalent to $25,000 US and warning.

“The compelling reasons to suspend the sporting sanction include the fact that Tonali self-referred this misconduct, made full admissions as to it, and did so in circumstances where there is no other evidence to support these misconduct proceedings,” the commission said.

Tonali joined Newcastle from AC Milan last July for a fee reportedly worth up to $76.3 million. But he made only 12 appearances for the club after being caught up in a wider betting investigation that saw Juventus midfielder Nicolò Fagioli banned for seven months.

Tonali told prosecutors he bet on Milan and Brescia when he played for those clubs. His agent, Giuseppe Riso, acknowledged his client had a gambling problem.

Tonali agreed to a plea bargain with the Italian federation that included therapy for a gambling addiction.

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