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Juventus expresses ‘full support’ for Nicolò Fagioli after midfielder banned for betting

TURIN, Italy (AP) — Juventus expressed its “full support” for Nicolò Fagioli on Thursday, two days after the midfielder was banned for seven months by the Italian soccer federation for betting violations.

Fagioli agreed to a plea bargain with the federation that stipulates he undergo therapy for a gambling addiction.

“We are firmly convinced that Nicolò, with the support of the club, his teammates, his family and the professionals who will assist him, will face the therapeutic and training process with a great sense of responsibility and, once the disqualification has been served, will be able to return to competing with due serenity,” Juventus said in a statement.

The 22-year-old Fagioli, who has already been seeing a therapist for his problem, alerted the Italian soccer federation’s prosecutor about the case and cooperated with authorities to mitigate his punishment.

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That allowed the minimum ban of three years for players betting on soccer matches to be greatly reduced.

In a far-reaching case with prosecutors in Turin also carrying out a criminal investigation, Premier League players Sandro Tonali and Nicolò Zaniolo were questioned by police at Italy’s training camp last week and more Serie A players could be implicated.

The federation announced that Fagioli’s ban began Thursday, meaning he could return for Juventus’ final two Serie A matches of the season in May.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/Soccer