Serie A, Juventus

Juventus Midfielder Fagioli Handed 7-Month Ban For Betting

Italian Soccer Betting Scandal

Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli has been banned by the Italian FA (FIGC) for 12 months, with 5 months suspended, over breaches of betting regulations.

The 22-year-old has also been fined €12,500 for violations relating to betting on football events organized by FIGC, FIFA, or UEFA.

Fagioli’s ban will be at least 7 months, provided he completes a mandatory 6-month course of therapy for gambling issues and attends at least 10 sessions.

The FIGC can monitor Fagioli’s compliance and terminate the agreement if he does not fulfill the measures.

This comes amid a wider investigation by Turin prosecutors also looking into Premier League players Sandro Tonali and Nicolò Zaniolo, who were questioned by police at Italy’s training camp last week.

More Serie A players are expected to face scrutiny as authorities delve into the use of illegal online betting platforms.

Fagioli has been cooperating with investigators and alerted FIGC prosecutors about his own case, leading to a reduced minimum 3-year ban for soccer betting down to just 7 months.

The midfielder is said to have never bet on Juventus matches. The club has so far not commented on Fagioli’s ban.

Fagioli has featured in 6 of Juve’s 8 Serie A games this season and made his Italy debut last November. He posted on social media apologizing for his “naive mistake” and said media coverage has been exaggerated.

FIGC president Gabriele Gravina stated that those with gambling addictions need support, not harsh punishments. He said up to 5.1 million Italians have a gambling problem.

Tonali, now at Newcastle, met with Turin prosecutors on Tuesday and will hope his cooperation also leads to a light sanction like Fagioli.

“Sandro is playing an important match against gambling addiction. He will win this one too,” said his agent Giuseppe Riso.

Zaniolo’s situation appears different – he claims to have only played blackjack on a site he didn’t know was illegal. If true, he would likely only be fined.

The Italian authorities are taking a stronger stance on soccer and gambling, seen as a growing problem. But players who acknowledge issues and get help may avoid lengthy bans.

Fagioli’s 7-month suspension is a warning, but his openness to treatment is also being rewarded. More names could emerge in this unfolding scandal.