Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali has been advised by his agents to seek therapy for a gambling addiction after becoming embroiled in an alleged illegal betting controversy in Italy. This development was reported by Corriere della Sera, as relayed by Corriere dello Sport, who are covering the latest updates on the midfielder following the scandal that has ensnared him, along with his Italy teammates Nicolo Zaniolo and Nicolo Fagioli, this week.
The trio were part of Italy’s national squad for this international break but are now returning to their respective clubs after police visited Italy’s training camp as part of an investigation into illegal gambling. During this investigation, their phones, tablets, and other electronic devices were confiscated.
If found guilty of illegally betting on games, the trio could face fines and potential three-year bans. However, both Tonali and Zaniolo have denied any involvement in such activities.
The incident seems to have taken a heavy toll on the Newcastle United midfielder, with reports from Italy suggesting that he was visibly upset and disheartened by the situation. Corriere described the impact as “terrible,” likening it to being run over by a train or feeling suffocated.
Tonali reportedly had a strong emotional reaction to the accusations of betting on illegal platforms, shedding tears in meetings with his loved ones and agents. He acknowledges that he made a mistake out of boredom, but his agents believe that his issue with gambling runs deeper. Consequently, they have recommended that he meet with a therapist to address his gambling addiction. Tonali has accepted this suggestion, albeit with some embarrassment.
His support network insists that this entire affair is a “mistake of youth” and urges him to demonstrate maturity and show that he has learned from this experience. Tonali plans to make himself available to the Federation for a series of meetings with young people, focusing on educating them about behaviors to avoid.
In the meantime, he needs to concentrate on football, and the Magpies have arranged a private flight to bring him back, with Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe waiting for him in the North East. Howe is already inquiring about Tonali’s psychological state and has sent him a private message, the contents of which remain undisclosed for now. It is evident that those in charge at St James Park are committed to looking after their player’s well-being, particularly his mental health.