La Gazzetta dello Sport report that Sandro Tonali has confirmed he bet on football matches, including those featuring AC Milan. The midfielder is one of three high profile names involved in the betting scandal, along with Nicolo Fagioli and Nicolo Zaniolo.
Juve’s Fagioli was handed a seven-month ban yesterday, having admitted to placing bets on illegal gambling platforms, but never having gambled on Juventus matches.
La Gazzetta write a lengthy article this morning concerning the outcome of Tonali’s meeting with the public prosecutor yesterday afternoon:
“Sandro Tonali is repentant and has already begun to make his contribution to the investigation into the betting case. He said so yesterday at the Turin Public Prosecutor’s Office, in an interrogation that lasted almost three hours, but he had also declared it last Sunday when he was heard for the first time by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office. Giuseppe Chinè (FIGC prosecutor) met him at a secret location and he told the whole truth. So the former AC Milan player self-reported to the sports justice body and certainly admitted that he had also bet on football-otherwise under what is the Code of Sports Justice there would be no violation-but he would also have confessed to making bets on AC Milan. And here the issue is different and definitely more delicate.
“Betting on one’s own team is particularly risky because it could constitute the crime of illicit sports betting. The article of the Code that regulates it, number 30, is clear and speaks of “performing, by any means, acts aimed at altering the course or result of a match or competition.” From what emerges, however, this would not be the case for Tonali. The player now at Newcastle would in fact have bet on Milan winning or at any rate on other results with him absent. In short, his bets would not have in any way affected his performance on the field, so no sports offence. At the moment, the violation charged against Tonali therefore remains within the enclosure of Article 24 of the Code of Sports Justice, the one that punishes players who bet on football (minimum penalty three years), but it is clear that having bet on Milan constitutes an aggravating circumstance.
“The midfielder would like to follow the path taken by Fagioli, with a plea bargain in a short time frame (even less than a month), but there are clearly differences. The first is that if the bets on the Rossoneri were confirmed, the initial sanction of the Prosecutor’s Office would necessarily be more than three years. Verisimilarly it could be three and a half or four, a penalty automatically halved with the predeferral plea bargain. Thus, since the boy has already shown cooperation, he could enjoy some mitigating factors like Fagioli. Hypothesizing the final sanction today is difficult, but one can think of 12 months of disqualification on the field and 6 of alternative prescriptions like the Juventus player, given that Tonali has also claimed to be suffering from ludopathy. Certainly it will be crucial that the version of the former Rossoneri player provided to Chinè coincides perfectly with what will emerge from the records of the Turin prosecutor’s office, who seized his phone and tablet Thursday at Coverciano. If something does not match, things would change, and depending on the findings, the penalty could increase even by a lot.
“The timeframe for the plea bargain-if there are no surprises-could be quite short, given as well that the Federation has already defined for Fagioli the path of alternative punishments: therapy to defeat ludopathy and a series of meetings decided by the Federation to make these guys examples in a positive way, to show especially young people that gambling can be the ruin of a career and more.”