Controversial Betting Scandal Shakes Italian Football Squad
Italian football is no stranger to drama, but recent events have thrust the national team into the spotlight for a different reason – a betting scandal that has led to the exclusion of two of its star players.
Newcastle United’s Sandro Tonali and Aston Villa’s Nicolo Zaniolo have been dropped from the Italian national team amid an ongoing betting investigation. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced their removal from the squad, stating that the midfielders were not in the right frame of mind to participate in the upcoming matches.
A Mysterious Investigation
While the FIGC has not disclosed the precise nature of the investigation, it has confirmed that both Tonali and Zaniolo were being investigated by the Turin Public Prosecutor’s Office. Italy’s ANSA news agency, however, has reported that the probe is related to betting activities, further deepening the intrigue surrounding the situation.
In a statement, the FIGC expressed concern for the players’ mental state in light of the ongoing investigation. Regardless of the nature of the events, the federation decided that both players were not in the necessary condition to face the upcoming matches. Consequently, it was determined that returning the players to their respective clubs was the best course of action for their protection and well-being.
Italy is slated to host Malta on Saturday, with an even more crucial game scheduled against England at Wembley on Tuesday. The absence of Tonali and Zaniolo, both key midfielders, is sure to impact the team’s performance and strategy in these crucial matches.
This scandal has raised concerns about the potential impact on the reputation of Italian football. Betting-related issues have plagued the sport before, and the scrutiny of these high-profile cases may prompt further investigations and discussions about the need for stricter regulations.
In an alarming development, another Italian footballer, Nicolo Fagioli of Juventus, is also under investigation for alleged illegal betting. Players found guilty of betting on games in Italy face a three-year ban from the sport and fines of up to €25,000 (£21,600).
The betting scandal is reported to have ensnared over 50 individuals from Serie A, Italy’s top football league, as its widening scope continues to raise concerns about the extent of its implications.
According to former paparazzo Fabrizio Corona, the betting scandal has now ensnared a young Polish talent, Nicola Zalewski.