Sandro Tonali shouldn’t have received a lengthy ban – The Big Step
Earlier today, it was confirmed (see below) that Sandro Tonali is now banned from playing football for the next ten months.
This has come about due to the then AC Milan player breaking rules concerning betting on football matches.
Now, The Big Step has reacted to today’s Sandro Tonali news.
This is a campaign to try and end all gambling advertising and sponsorship in football, it is part of Gambling with Lives, a charity set up by families bereaved by gambling-related suicide.
They believe that Sandro Tonali (and other football players who find themselves in a similar position) needs ’empathy and support’, not a lengthy ban.
“Footballers are human and if they are suffering from addiction they deserve empathy and support, not lengthy bans.
“Every football game is wall-to-wall with gambling ads, not just across shirts but around stadiums and related media content.
“Sending someone addicted to gambling into this environment is like sending an alcoholic to work in a pub.
“If you force young footballers to endorse addictive products, then don’t be surprised if they use them.
“Ending all gambling advertising and sponsorship in football, including all parts of the shirt and in every stadium, will help to prevent harm to those on and off the pitch.”
The Mag earlier today (26 October 2023):
The Italian Football Federation President has announced how long Sandro Tonali is banned for.
Gabriele Gravina telling Italian media (see below) that the Newcastle United midfielder is unavailable for ten months.
With Gravina adding that Sandro Tonali will have to continue for eight months with his rehab programme.
Also included in the final agreement is that Sandro Tonali will make at least 16 ‘public appearances’ to help others, when it comes to avoiding the perils of gambling.
Football Italia report –
FIGC President Gabriele Gravina confirms Sandro Tonali will be banned for 10 months and will have to follow a rehab program for eight more months.
Gravina spoke to reporters after a meeting at CONI in Rome on Thursday, as quoted by Sky Sport Italia.
“The FIGC Prosecutor and Tonali have reached an agreement which I have already approved,” said the FIGC President.
“The agreement consists of a 10-month ban plus eight months of rehab activities and at least 16 public appearances.”
The former Milan midfielder confessed in his deposition, given last week to the authorities in a meeting that lasted almost three hours, that he had placed bets on football matches.
This included games involving Milan, his team at the time, but as he bet on them to win, he was not investigated for potential match-fixing.
It is against the rules for all football players to bet on any sporting event, but games involving their own teams warrant much harsher punishment.
“Rules provide a ban for a few years, but there can be a plea agreement and attenuating circumstances,” continued Gravina.
“The guys collaborated above and beyond expectations, so we will continue to follow the rules we had adopted.”
Juventus midfielder Nicolò Fagioli was given a seven-month ban, originally 12, but with five months commuted in exchange for gambling addiction treatment and making at least 10 public appearances to discourage others from falling into the same trap.
Fagioli also handed himself into authorities before he was under investigation and did not place bets on Juventus, all of which helped to lower the length of the ban.
Tonali has also started treatment for gambling addiction. The FIGC are expected to confirm Tonali’s ban with an official statement later today.
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