Sandro Tonali's betting ban shines light on football's relationship with gambling

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Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali's football ban for betting has placed greater focus on the sport's relationship with gambling.

The 23-year-old is set to miss the rest of the season and Euro 2024 tournament after the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) stated he would receive a 10 month suspension.

Tonali will also undergo eight months of rehabilitation as part of the agreement and make at least 16 public appearances on the matter.

Gambling advertising is prominent in football. Eight Premier League clubs have gambling companies as their front-of-shirt sponsor while adverts are also regularly displayed on hoardings during matches.

As a result, Tonali's ban has drawn criticism from gambling awareness charities who suggest his actions are a product of the system.

Kieran Trippier consoles Sandro Tonali after Newcastle's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace. Credit: PA

"We need to address the situation that got us to this point," Tom Fleming from Gambling with Lives told ITV Tyne Tees. "Gambling is just super normalised and it's aggressively marketed especially within football.

"We perhaps wouldn't be in this situation where Newcastle are losing an asset for 10 months and a young promising footballer is losing 10 months of his career.

"We could be at a point where that just didn't happen."

Last season Newcastle were among the Premier League sides to carry a gambling company as their front-of-shirt sponsor but that changed over the summer. By 2026 this will be the same for all clubs in England but it will not come quickly enough for Tonali.

The constant temptation advertising is something Craig Tampin knows all too well having battled a gambling addiction since he was 15.

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has given Tonali his full support. Credit: PA

"When you're in that zone and you can't seem to get out of it, it can cause absolute hell," he explained. "Tonali obviously can't play but I'm hoping the club and everyone else around him put things in place that will help him mentally. It's going to affect him not being able to do the job that he is employed to do.

"I do feel sorry for him but at the same time, he has to look at himself and realise that he has done wrong. He can only make it right from now, what's done is done.

"We always say at the meetings 'take one day at a time' and that's what he's going to have to do."

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has given Tonali his full support since the news of his potential ban broke and hopes the situation can help others going forward.

"These kinds of pitfalls have been there for many many years for footballers," he said when asked about Tonali. "All kinds of situations can occur over the course of their careers.

"The better we can get good guidance into them at a younger age then hopefully these situations can be avoided."

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