Sandro Tonali lawyers met FIGC prosecutor – This plea bargain agreement outcome imminent
As reported at the weekend, the Sandro Tonali legal team met the FIGC (Italian Football Federation) Prosecutor on Monday.
The intention of yesterday’s meeting(s) was to hammer out the basics of a plea bargain agreement for the player.
Whilst all of this was going on in Italy, it was business as usual for Sandro Tonali, at least on the surface, with the midfielder said to have trained as normal with the rest of the Newcastle United squad ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund.
However, as Sportmediaset, La Gazetta dello Sport and others have reported, the intention of all parties is to conclude the matter, come to a final agreement and punishment, ahead of Wednesday’s match.
Indeed, Saturday appeared to be quite clearly a goodbye (for now) final appearance for Sandro Tonali, as he made a sub appearance in the thrashing of Palace and then was pushed to the front on the mutual lap of appreciation between players and fans after the final whistle.
Nicolo Fagioli has already started his seven month ban from football and the same process is being followed with Sandro Tonali.
With FIGC Prosecutor Giuseppe Chine hammering out an agreement with Tonali’s legal team and then that agreement will need the formal approval of the FIGC president, Gabriele Gravina, and that of the General Prosecutor’s Office for Sport.
If a ban is indeed coming, then it appears to be in the interests of Sandro Tonali in particular to get the clock ticking ASAP, as continuing playing with this hanging over him, dragging it out, would be pointless. Simply meaning that the later any ban begins,, the later it will be before it ends.
As for the length of the ban, Sportmediaset say that their information is that Sandro Tonali and his lawyers were pushing for a ban of no more than ten months, which would roughly equate to the player becoming available to play again roughly when the 2024/25 Premier League season kicks off. However, they report that on the other side, the authorities believed to be looking for at least a 12 month ban, which would eat into next season as well.
The Italian media reporting that Sandro Tonali and his representatives have fully cooperated with the authorities and that whilst there are claimed to have been bets placed on AC Milan, there is no suggestion of corruption / match fixing in his actions, with Sandro Tonali said to have always bet on his team to win.
From a Newcastle United perspective, none of this is ideal of course.
Simply a case of damage limitation and making the best of a bad job, get a conclusion to the investigation side of things as quickly as possible, then have a plan of action that will include any support Sandro Tonali needs to ensure that he comes back in the best possible condition, both physically and mentally, to play once again for Newcastle United.
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