Italian footballer Sandro Tonali, suspended ten months for illegal sports betting, could nevertheless play Saturday with Newcastle, the sanction having not yet been officially notified to the English club, his coach Eddie Howe said on Friday.
The coach of the club currently sixth in the Premier League estimated that there was “a strong chance” that Sandro Tonali would be part of the squad which must travel to Wolverhampton on Saturday, despite the sanction (ten months of suspension and eight probation) announced Thursday by the Italian football federation against the international midfielder.
“We have heard the news but we have not received anything from the Italian authorities at the moment, so we are waiting for official confirmation to reach us,” responded Eddie Howe, adding that there was “some good chance he will be available for us again on Saturday.
“We didn't expect what just happened. “It’s frustrating and disappointing to have to go without a quality player for a long time,” commented the technician.
Tonali (23 years old, 15 caps) was suspended for illicit sports betting, with the aggravating circumstance of having bet on Brescia (2017-20) and AC Milan (2020-23) matches when he wore the jersey of these two teams. The sanction is accompanied by treatment obligations to put an end to his addiction to gambling.
Another great hope in transalpine football, Nicolo Fagioli, 22, Juventus midfielder, was sentenced to seven months without competition on October 17, again for illegal betting.
Tonali's transfer to Newcastle in July for 64 million euros made him the most expensive Italian player in history. On Wednesday in the Champions League, he came on as a substitute in Newcastle's 1-0 defeat against Borussia Dortmund.