Sandro Tonali is receiving the utmost support from Newcastle United and their fans as he remains embroiled in an illegal betting allegations case with the Italian Football Federation and also the country’s prosecution office.
The young midfielder has been exposed as someone who allegedly bet on his own former team AC Milan and never revealed his betting activities to the federation. His case has come up after Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli was outed as someone with a serious gambling addiction, which ended up leaving him in severe debt.
Fagioli has since admitted to the Italian authorities that it was actually Tonali who had introduced him to the betting apps during their time together at the Italian U-21 team. This has gotten the Newcastle United star into deeper trouble. He now faces a potentially harsh punishment if/once found guilty of illegal betting activities.
Despite all the damning evidence against him that has piled up over the last few weeks, the Magpies are standing beside Tonali. This is even though they could end up missing for the rest of the season if he is indeed given a 12-month ban by the Italian federation.
Tonali was used as a substitute by Eddie Howe in his side’s 4-0 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend. After the game, the Magpies decided to give Tonali a lap of honour because that match could technically be the midfielder’s last for the club for the foreseeable future.
It was actually Howe’s decision to do this for Tonali and get him a round of applause from the fans to assure him that everyone is with him. The gaffer spoke about his decision to do this, saying: “It sort of came to me when we were doing our walk that I wanted him to be at the front, to see the love closer up. So it’s a big thank you from me to our supporters. That reception at the end was incredible and it was emotional.
“Sandro is going through an incredibly emotional time and the supporters reacted how I hoped they would. I could feel the love between him and them and that will do him the world of good, he’ll feel much better. The hardest part is ahead, but it’s great for him to know he’s got the support of the senior management and the supporters, they’re the most important.”
This act from Newcastle for Tonali has irked a lot of fans on social media. For the majority of the non-Newcastle United supporters, this has come off as something that was uncalled for. Fans are slamming Newcastle for disrespecting those who actually suffer from gambling addiction and almost assuring that illegal betting is nothing bad.
There are also parallels being created between how Tonali is being painted as a victim and a hero and how Ivan Toney was slammed for his betting activities earlier this year. Toney received a major ban and was completely sidelined for his illegal betting, while Newcastle are trying to paint Tonali’s situation as one where he’s the victim.
Tonali is now awaiting the final verdict on his situation and even though he will be hoping for the best, the Newcastle United star will need to be ready to get banned from football for quite a long time.