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Thursday, 28 March 2024 19:32

Newcastle United star Sandro Tonali charged with breaching FA's betting rules.

Staff Reporter.

Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association for alleged breaches of betting rules.

The 23-year-old is currently serving a 10-month ban issued by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in October for breaking betting rules in Italy.

Tonali joined Newcastle from AC Milan in July for £55m.

The FA alleges Tonali broke its rules by placing 50 bets on matches between 12 August and 12 October 2023.

Tonali was banned by the FIGC for betting on matches involving his teams Brescia and Milan, and Fifa later granted the Italian federation's request to have the ban extended worldwide.

The FA charges relate to separate allegations during Tonali's time as a Newcastle player.

"Newcastle United acknowledges a misconduct charge received by Sandro Tonali in respect of alleged breaches of FA Betting Rules," the club said on Thursday.

"Sandro continues to fully comply with relevant investigations and he retains the club's full support."

His current ban means Tonali is not eligible to play again until August and will not feature at Euro 2024.

The Italy international, who was fined 20,000 euros (£17,380), was initially given an 18-month ban which was reduced after he agreed to take part in an eight-month "therapeutic plan" to help "recovery from gambling addiction".

That will include Tonali making at least 16 public appearances in Italy, where he will be expected to speak to young players about the dangers of gambling.

Although he is unable to play in any matches, Tonali can train alongside his Newcastle team-mates during his ban.

Tonali, who has until 5 April to respond to the FA's charges, had only made 12 appearances for Eddie Howe's side before his suspension was imposed.

Last year Brentford striker Ivan Toney was given an eight-month for 232 breaches of the FA's betting rules. He returned in January.

Former England and Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson, who says he was a "compulsive gambler" during his career, called Tonali and Toney's bans a "disgrace".

"To give people 10-month bans for an addiction that is ravaging football, with sponsorships all over the shirts... They needed help and I don't think 'help' is giving them 10-month bans," he said.