Premier League

Can Sandro Tonali play against Wolves? What Eddie Howe has said about impending ban

Sandro Tonali

Sandro Tonali finds himself in a very unusual situation where he is being handed a ban for gambling, but it is not yet confirmed when the suspension will come into force.

The Italian midfielder is a major protagonist in the recent betting scandal that has rocked Italian football. It has seen Juventus‘ Nicolo Fagioli receive a seven-month suspension from playing, but Tonali has been handed an even more severe punishment.

After eventually admitting to betting on his former teams, AC Milan and Brescia, Tonali was handed a 10-month suspension and will also spend eight months completing a rehabilitation programme.

Despite that, Newcastle are not quite certain about when they will officially lose their Italy international, who was in action on Wednesday night against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

Sandro Tonali

Sandro Tonali is set to miss Euro 2024 should Italy qualify / Stu Forster/GettyImages

The punishment for Tonali was reported on Thursday afternoon, with Newcastle‘s next game coming against Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday at 17:30 BST.

The FIGC and Italian prosecutors are handing out Tonali’s punishment and the reason it was reported as official by every major news outlet on Thursday is that FIGC president Gabriele Gravina confirmed a deal had been reached with Tonali for the ten-month suspension.

“The FIGC Prosecutor and Tonali have reached an agreement which I have already approved,” Gravina told the press. “The agreement consists of a ten-month ban plus eight months of rehab activities and at least 16 public appearances.”

“Rules provide a ban for a few years, but there can be a plea agreement and attenuating circumstances,” continued Gravina. “The guys collaborated above and beyond expectations, so we will continue to follow the rules we had adopted.”

As has been revealed by manager Eddie Howe, Newcastle have not received any official communication confirming Tonali is banned.

In his pre-match press conference, he said: “We haven’t had official confirmation as a football club yet. We’ve heard the news, the speculation, but we haven’t had anything from the Italian authorities; we are in limbo waiting for confirmation to come through.”

Newcastle have yet to confirm any details of Tonali’s sanction, although reports suggest FIFA have now approved the FIGC’s request to suspend the midfielder less than 24 hours before the Magpies face Wolves.

It is not clear whether there has been some sort of delay with the paperwork, or if it was never meant to happen this…

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