Italy EPL Duo Out of England Game Over Betting Investigation

  • Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo allegedly bet on Serie A games
  • If Italy’s soccer body bans the duo, FIFA would extend the ban worldwide
  • Villa’s Zaniolo allegedly bet on a Roma game while he was still on the team
Sandro Tonali
Newcastle United’s new cult hero Sandro Tonali and Aston Villa’s Nicolo Zaniolo face a minimum three-year ban for betting. [Image:]

Active EPL players out

Italy’s national soccer team will be without two on-form English Premier League (EPL) midfield players when it faces England on Tuesday after the pair left training camp following a gambling investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Turin.

The two out are Sandro Tonali, 23, who has become a household name at EPL side Newcastle United FC, and Nicolo Zaniolo, 24, of Aston Villa FC. Italian sports journalist Fabrizio Romano took to X Friday to state the players had left the Italy camp after police questioning:

According to Football Italia, the prosecutor informed Tonali and Zaniolo they were under a betting probe after Juventus midfielder Nicolò Fagioli allegedly turned himself in for illegal online betting.

The English language news site states Tonali and Zaniolo allegedly made the bets when they were still in Italy playing for AC Milan and AFC Roma, respectively.

Trouble ahead

According to Italian media, police questioned Tonali and Zaniolo at Coverciano, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC)’s technical headquarters and training ground for the national team.

The Italy pair add to a raft of betting probes, including one that halted the transfer of West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta to Manchester City, and another in which Brentford striker Ivan Toney was fined £50,000 ($61,048) and banned eight months.

While the pair will miss Italy’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and England on Saturday and Tuesday, respectively, that’s likely the least of their worries right now.

According to Football Italia, “all soccer players in Italy are banned from placing bets on any football event” that falls under FIFA, UEFA, or FIGC events.  

in Italy the minimum penalty for betting on soccer games is three years.

Unlike in England, where the English Football Association banned Toney for eight months, in Italy the minimum penalty for betting on soccer games is three years.

It gets worse

According to Football Italia, if the FIGC imposes bans on Tonali and Zaniolo for allegedly betting on Serie A games, FIFA would then extend the ban worldwide.

Of the Italian trio facing three-year-minimum bans, Aston Villa’s Zaniolo appears to be in the hottest water. The midfielder allegedly bet on a Coppa Italia game involving his then Serie A team Roma while he was still on their active player roster.

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