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Italian and Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali was suspended for ten months following gambling breaches as he admitted he placed bets on soccer games. On top of that, Tonali must also undergo a rehab program for eight months following the suspension announced by the Italian FA President Gabriele Gravina, in which the players will have to participate in 16 public meetings on the gambling issue. 

The Italian midfielder, who moved from AC Milan to Newcastle in the summer 2023 for €70 million plus €5 million in add ons, will miss the rest of the 2023-24 season with Newcastle and will also miss the UEFA Euro 2024 with Italy as he's due to be back in August 2024. On Friday morning, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe maintained that the club had yet to hear official word on Tonali's ban, meaning he could be in the squad to face Wolves over the weekend.

"We've heard the news, the statement, but we haven't had anything from the Italian authorities at the moment." 

"I think there's a high chance again that he could be available for us. I still think there are a few things that have to happen before the ban is imposed, so let's see."

Before the ban from the Italian FA goes into effect to prevent Tonali from playing in the Premier League, UEFA and FIFA must approve it. That approval came later in the day on Friday, confirming that Tonali will, in fact, begin his suspension before the match.

The Tonali case emerged after Juventus midfielder Nicolò Fagioli was investigated (he was later suspended for seven months), as the Italian police entered the gates of Italy's training ground during the last International break to question two players of the team, Nicolò Zaniolo and Sandro Tonali. 

The Italian FA issued a statement on the matter saying, "The Federal Prosecutor's Office has reached an agreement (pursuant to art. 126 CGS) with the footballer Sandro Tonali, following which he will be sanctioned with an 18-month disqualification, eight of which will be commuted to alternative prescriptions, and a fine of 20,000 euros, for the violation of art.24 of the CGS which prohibits the possibility of placing bets on football events organized by FIGC, UEFA and FIFA.

"The Federal Prosecutor's Office will ensure compliance with what is indicated and, in case of violations, will adopt the measures within its competence, pursuant to the CGS, with termination of the agreement and continuation of the disciplinary proceedings before the sports justice adjudicating bodies."

Here' everything you need to know about the ongoing investigation and the betting scandal. 

As La Gazzetta dello Sport wrote, Tonali cooperated with the authorities and admitted he placed bets on his team as well, AC Milan, when he was playing for the Rossoneri. This put him in a different place compared to Fagioli, who was not placing bets on his clubs. The agent of Tonali, Giuseppe Riso, spoke about his player and revealed that the midfielder suffers from a gambling addiction.

"He is a little shocked by the situation but has already started fighting," he said. "This is the most important game against an addiction. I hope Sandro's experience will save the life of other young players around. He understood he must face this problem with determination and the club is supporting him right now."