Nicolo Fagioli to face ‘seven month ban’ as Newcastle sweat over Sandro Tonali

Newcastle will be sweating over Sandro Tonali’s immediate playing future with his international team-mate Nicolo Fagioli facing a seven-month ban from professional football following an investigation into illegal betting. The young Juventus star was the first footballer named in what has turned out to be a widespread scandal in Italian football.

He had been questioned by prosecutors for alleged gambling on an unauthorised platform. Fagioli’s lawyers said earlier this month that the player had reported himself to the Italian authorities.

If found guilty of the allegations, Fagioli faced being banned for up to three years. But Sky Italy claim the 22-year-old has reached a ‘plea bargain’ with the Turin Prosecutor’s Office.

It’s said that Fagioli will be banned for seven months with an official announcement still to be made.

Fagioli’s reported suspension will undoubtedly catch the attention of Newcastle, who are still waiting on a probe into Tonali’s alleged gambling activities. The midfielder has already met with Italian authorities, where he’s expected to denounce himself like Fagioli did.

Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo had reportedly distanced themselves from any sports betting, confessing to playing poker and blackjack. The 23-year-old’s agent, Giuseppe Riso, broke his silence on the accusations against his client.

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“Sandro is playing the most important game at the moment, the one against gambling addiction, and he will win this too,” Riso said. “He’s in a bit of shock right now, I hope this match saves Sandro’s life and sets an example for other kids too.

“He is certainly shaken and sad, he has understood that he must face this problem in a very determined way.”

Newcastle’s summer signing remains eligible to play for the club while the investigation is ongoing. It’s been claimed that more than 40 players are suspected of being involved in the betting scandal that has rocked Italian football.

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