Paul Merson send ‘unbelievable’ message to Sandro Tonali

Paul Merson has given a beautiful message to Sandro Tonali in the wake of his apparent gambling troubles, and believes the midfielder should not face a punishment.

The Italian Prosecutor’s Office and the Italian Football Federation are presently investigating the Newcastle United star for betting violations.

Tonali was one of the players named in an Italian football betting investigation last week, and he was later dismissed from Italy’s squad, which lost to England.

Tonali, who joined Newcastle for £55 million this summer, has previously acknowledged to betting on matches involving his former club AC Milan, and it is believed that he might face a long-term suspension from football.

Former Arsenal player and current pundit Merson, who has had his own gambling problems, has come out strongly in support of Tonali, claiming that banning sportsmen for betting offenses will only’stop people looking for assistance’.


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‘I just want to wish Sandro Tonali the best in his recovery from this dreadful addiction,’ Merson shared his thoughts on Twitter.

‘[I] hope FIFA and everyone else takes it easy and recognizes that this is an illness, stops issuing harsh penalties, and assists individuals in seeking treatment.

‘I appreciate that if someone is participating in a game and betting on the opposing team, a ban should be issued, but people need HELP.

‘I’ve had people tell me, ‘Have some will power,’ and I tell them, ‘Next time you have the s****, stop it with will power’ – by banning individuals, [it] prevents people from asking for help, so please show some empathy.’

Meanwhile, a Newcastle statement on Wednesday read: ‘Newcastle United can confirm that Sandro Tonali is subject to investigation by the Italian Prosecutor’s Office and Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in relation to unlawful betting activity.

‘Sandro is actively engaged in the inquiry and will continue to cooperate with all appropriate authorities,’ said the statement.

‘He and his family will continue to receive full support from the club.

‘Due to the ongoing nature of this procedure, Sandro and Newcastle United are unable to provide additional comment at this time.’

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