Newcastle fans react to Sandro Tonali gambling ban: 'Hopefully he gets support'

Newcastle fans react to Sandro Tonali gambling ban: 'Hopefully he gets support'

Sandro Tonali was banned for 10 months for betting on matches

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Newcastle United fans have been reacting to the news that star player Sandro Tonalihas been banned for 10 months for gambling.

The offences happened while he was playing at AC Milan, his former club, according to Gabriele Gravina, the president of the Italian football federation (FIGC).

Gravina said Tonali would have to go through an eight-month rehabilitation period as part of the agreement.

Tonali’s agent has said the player has a gambling addiction and that he cooperated fully with Italian authorities.

The 23-year-old admitted he placed bets on matches, including some he played in for AC Milan. He signed for Newcastle for £55m over the summer.

Professional footballers in Italy are banned from betting on games organised by Fifa, Uefa or the FIGC.

The default ban is three years long, though issuing a guilty plea and cooperating with authorities can see that shortened.

Newcastle fans, having already heard the news of a potential ban earlier this month, were determined to stay positive.

One person said: “The burden of hiding his gambling is now off his shoulders… He’ll get the right help for his addiction… He will only be 24 when he returns to a full playing career.”

Another person said: “Could have been much worse. He will get treatment in Italy, do community work in Italy and gets to train and play friendlies with us.

“This way he hopefully gets support, treatment and stays integrated within the team until he is back properly.”

One other person added: “Would be nice to see Tonali release something with club giving his side. Thanking fans for support and be back stronger etc for his nufc career.”

Newcastle’s manager, Eddie Howe, said last Friday: “We will throw our arms around Sandro and protect him and try to give him the love and support he needs to find solutions to the problems he’s had.

“We see him being part of our team for many years. We are committed to him long term.”

Charities such as GambleAware and GamCare provide support for people struggling with gambling addictions.

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