Newcastle United’s Sandro Tonali is reportedly grappling with a gambling addiction, as disclosed by his agent, Beppe Riso. The Italian midfielder has been making headlines in Italy due to his involvement in an ongoing inquiry into potential illicit betting activities.
Investigators examining alleged gambling activities in Italian football recently questioned Tonali and his teammate Nicolo Zaniolo at the Coverciano facility near Florence. This development has given rise to much speculation about Tonali’s role in the investigation.
Riso shed light on the situation, expressing that the Newcastle star is deeply affected but is determined to confront his gambling problem. During a press conference prior to Italy’s match against England, Riso shared, “He [Tonali] acknowledges his mistake and is quite shaken. Newcastle has always been supportive of him. He is now engaged in the most significant battle of his life, overcoming his gambling addiction, but I am confident he will succeed.”
Riso further stated, “Sandro is in a state of shock, but he is persevering with his training, and there is even a possibility that he may play on Saturday. I hope that addressing this issue of gambling addiction can not only save Sandro’s life but also help many other young individuals facing a similar problem.”
Tonali has returned to Newcastle this week and may be included in the squad for the upcoming match against Crystal Palace. While Newcastle has not yet issued an official statement on the matter, it is understood that manager Eddie Howe is offering support to the 23-year-old player behind the scenes.
On the other hand, Nicolo Zaniolo, the Aston Villa midfielder also implicated in the situation, has vehemently denied betting on football matches but has admitted to placing bets on poker and blackjack. His lawyer, Gianluca Tognozzi, clarified, “Nicolò never placed a bet, he assured me of this. It is possible he played card games like poker and blackjack on illegal online platforms, but without knowing that they were illegal. We will clarify everything.”
The ongoing Italian investigation is rumored to encompass around 40 current and former Serie A players as authorities delve into whether these footballers have violated rules by wagering on Italian, UEFA, or FIFA matches. Juventus star Nicolo Fagioli initiated the investigation and is cooperating with the ongoing inquiries by turning himself in.