Sandro Tonali placed four bets on Newcastle United before ban as FA praise gambling cooperation

Sandro Tonali placed four bets on matches involving Newcastle United as full details of his gambling habits and subsequent cooperation with authorities is made public.

Tonali has been stuck on the sidelines since October after Italian's football federation issued the Newcastle United star with a 10-month ban following his breach of betting rules while at AC Milan. Earlier this year, the FA then charged the midfielder with 50 breaches of FA Rule E8 for placing bets on matches between 12 August 2023 and 12 October 2023 while he was a Newcastle player.

On Thursday the FA announced Tonali had received a two-month ban from all football related activities, suspended until the end of the 2024/25 season pending any further breaches. The 23-year-old has also been handed a £20,000 fine and a warning from the FA.

READ MORE: Sandro Tonali FA sentence after 'extraordinary and unprecedented' cooperation

The report following the recent investigation shows Tonali admitted betting on Newcastle to win on four occasions, including three games where he featured in the match. The midfielder placed bets on the Magpies to beat either Brighton or Burnley, Brentford and West Ham United as part of an accumulator, while also backing Newcastle to beat Manchester City as a standalone or 'single' bet. However, the Italian did not place any bets on Newcastle to lose.

Tonali admitted placing '40 to 50' bets over a two-month period following his £55m summer transfer. He could not tell the FA the total amount placed on the aforementioned wagers but told investigators the sum would not have exceeded €10,000 (£8,559) on any occasion.

Tonali admits he was aware he could not gamble on football matches as a professional in the sport. However, the midfielder arrived in England in July and was given FA training on betting regulations one month into his spell in England when his grasp of the language was minimal.

Tonali has also since 'recognised' there can be no repeat of his actions and also apologised during the investigation. His full and constant cooperation was noted in the findings and helped minimise his punishment.

"The FA’s case stands solely on the evidence that ST [Sandro Tonali] voluntarily and proactively provided to it. In an alternative reality, ST could have chosen not to assist The FA by providing a no comment interview," the report confirmed.

The FA state if Tonali's misconduct while in Italy had taken place in England it would have been classed as a 'Category 3' offence and would have carried a maximum suspension of six months. The player was initially hit with an 18-month ban from Italian football chiefs before eight months of the suspension were commuted for his cooperation with authorities.

Tonali has been training with Newcastle during his time away from competitive football and has been seeking help for his addiction. Speaking in October, Tonali’s agent Beppe Riso said his client had been suffering from a “gambling illness”.

"Sandro made full admissions as to his betting activity, and did so in circumstances where there was no other evidence to support misconduct proceedings," a Newcastle statement read on Thursday. "Sandro is continuing to follow a therapeutic plan and educational programme with the club's full support and will continue to train with his teammates."

Eddie Howe will welcome the news of no further ban being awarded to Tonali, as the big-money signing prepares for his return in August. Speaking last month, the Newcastle manager said: "That illness was there [when he arrived in England] and people should look at it that way, not 'let's throw the book at him and punish him even further' because I don't think that gets to the root of the problem."