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Nicolo Zaniolo and Sandro Tonali leave Italy camp amid investigation

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Oct 2023

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Newcastle midfielder Sandro Tonali and on-loan Aston Villa forward Nicolo Zaniolo are returning to their clubs from Italy’s training camp after it emerged they were being investigated by the Turin Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The Italian Football Federation said the decision was taken because the players “are not in the necessary condition” to be involved in the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and England, as well as “for their protection”.

The statement from the FIGC did not specify the nature of the investigations which Tonali and Zaniolo, who is on loan at Villa from Galatasaray, were facing.

Reports in Italy claim it is relation to an investigation into illegal betting. On Wednesday, it was reported that Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli was under investigation for alleged betting breaches.

The FIGC statement on Thursday read: “The federation announces that this afternoon the Turin Public Prosecutor’s Office has conducted investigations into players, Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo, who are currently training with the national team at the Coverciano Federal Training Centre.

“Regardless of the nature of the events, considering that the two players are not in the necessary condition to face the matches scheduled for the next few days, the federation has decided, also for their protection, to allow them to return to their respective clubs.”

Italy, the reigning European champions, host Malta in Bari on Saturday before travelling to Wembley to face England next Tuesday in a repeat of the Euro 2020 final.

England are currently top of Group C on 13 points, six ahead of second-placed Italy who have played a game less.

Newcastle and Aston Villa have been contacted for comment.

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