European Soccer Star Finds Himself in Hot Water Over Gambling Allegations

Reuters/Lee Smith
Reuters/Lee Smith

Sandro Tonali, the already-suspended soccer star in hot water for gambling on matches in Italy, was slapped with dozens of similar charges by Britain’s Football Association on Thursday.

Tonali, 23, is now accused of placing bets on soccer matches in England while he was playing for Newcastle United. Authorities said he placed 50 wagers, all within a three-month span that included his first months with the club after joining them from AC Milan for a fee of $75.6 million.

Thursday’s allegations add to Tonali and Newcastle’s headache, as he’s been unavailable to feature since he was slapped with similar charges by the governing body of Italian soccer. He was suspended 10 months in that case—a ban he’s currently halfway through.

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It’s unclear what additional punishment Tonali could face, but FA authorities said they’ve given him until April 5 to respond to the allegations.

No details were provided by the FA about what matches Tonali bet on, including if any were Newcastle matches.

Tonali has not denied his previous wagering allegations, with his agent saying in October that the budding Italian star had been suffering from a “gambling illness.”

Tonali has been prohibited from playing any matches for Newcastle and the Italian national team until his initial ban expires in August, but he’s still been permitted to train with the teams.

In addition to his suspension, Italian authorities have already ordered him to attend therapy and make at least 16 public appearances at amateur clubs, federal training centers, and addiction charities.

Tonali is one of a number of athletes in Europe and the U.S. in recent weeks to become embroiled in gambling scandals.

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