The Italian Federal Prosecutor's Office has taken action against Juventus footballer Nicolò Fagioli, imposing a notable seven-month suspension on him. This action was initiated due to Fagioli's involvement in betting on football events. Reports regarding Fagioli's betting activities came to light recently, with claims that he had placed bets with an unlicensed gambling site. This situation raised concerns, as Italian Football Federation (FIGC) regulations explicitly state that athletes found engaging in betting activities related to football can face penalties, including bans of up to three years.
In a related development, it was disclosed that two more Italian national team players, namely Sandro Tonali from Newcastle United and Nicolo Zaniolo of Aston Villa, were also under investigation for similar offenses. As a consequence, they were promptly withdrawn from selection for their respective teams.
Nicolò Fagioli has reached an agreement with the Federal Prosecutor's Office in accordance with article 126 of the CGS (General Sports Code), a provision that allows individuals subject to investigations to request a reduced penalty. Apart from the suspension, Fagioli will also face a monetary fine amounting to €12,500 (£10,849/$13,239).
In a noteworthy update, Guiseppe Riso, the agent representing Sandro Tonali, revealed that his client had been grappling with a gambling addiction. Riso conveyed Tonali's emotional state, explaining that he was "in shock" and feeling "very sad" about the situation. Riso emphasized Tonali's commitment to addressing his addiction, describing it as his "most important game – against betting addiction."
Looking ahead, Fagioli's future in football is in question. Juventus has taken proactive steps by reaching out to Italy's football association to address the matter. The FIGC found Fagioli in violation of article 24 of the CGS, which strictly prohibits footballers and members of football clubs from engaging in any form of betting on events organized by FIGC, UEFA, and FIFA.
The sanctions imposed on Fagioli entail an official 12-month disqualification, a penalty that has been reduced by five months to allow for "alternative prescriptions." This means Fagioli will be mandated to undergo therapy for a minimum of six months. Additionally, he will be required to make ten appearances at various locations, including amateur sports associations, federal territorial centers, and facilities dedicated to helping individuals overcome gambling addiction.
It's important to note that the Federal Prosecutor's Office will closely monitor the terms of the agreement, with the authority to terminate it if Fagioli fails to comply with its provisions. The FIGC made it clear that "The Federal Prosecutor's Office will ensure compliance with what is indicated and, in case of violations, will adopt the measures within its competence, pursuant to the CGS, with termination of the agreement and continuation of the disciplinary proceedings before the sports justice adjudicating bodies." This underscores the seriousness with which the FIGC regards such matters within the realm of football.
By fLEXI tEAM