Sandro Tonali, a midfielder for Newcastle United, will miss the remainder of the season for both his club and his country because Fifa has upheld an Italian government 10-month punishment for breaking betting regulations.
The 23-year-old was suspended after an investigation, the Italian Football Federation said on Thursday.
Tonali could play in Saturday’s Premier League match against Wolves, according to Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, who stated earlier on Friday that the club had not yet received official word of the ban.
But Fifa has now confirmed that the Italian federation’s plea to have the suspension against Tonali extended globally has been approved.
Tonali, who cost approximately £55 million ($67 million) to sign when he moved from AC Milan to Newcastle in July, is addicted to gambling, according to his agency.
When questioned about the deal, Howe—whose team is currently sixth in the Premier League after four wins in five games—said it was impossible to work in hindsight.
“You make a decision at the time with the knowledge that you have,” he stated. We thought he was a great football player.
“We had no idea that this was even a possibility so, of course, there’s an element of frustration and disappointment that we’re not going to have a quality player for a long period of time.”
Should Italy make it to the competition in Germany the following year, Tonali will again be absent from their defense of the European Championship.
Italian authorities informed Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo—who is on loan at Aston Villa from Turkish club Galatasaray—earlier this month that they were under investigation. As a result, they were ordered to depart Italy’s training camp.
Nicolo Fagioli, a midfielder for Juventus and Italy, was suspended for seven months last week for breaking betting regulations.
Howe verified that while Jacob Murphy sustained a dislocated shoulder in the Dortmund game, attacker Alexander Isak worsened a groin problem.
“Alex is a groin which we don’t think is serious, but it’s a recurrence of the groin he suffered when he was playing for Sweden, so we need to assess that,” he stated. “I believe he is getting scanned today. We don’t think that will be too problematic.
“Jacob’s is completely different; he has a shoulder dislocation. What we’re going to do is unclear. He should see a specialist today, I believe.”