The Italy internationals Sandro Tonali and Nicolò Zaniolo left the Azzuri’s headquarters on Thursday after being told they were involved in an investigation by prosecutors, the country’s football federation has confirmed.
The players, of Newcastle and Aston Villa respectively, were notified of the inquiry by Turin prosecutors while at the national team’s training centre in Coverciano, before European Championship qualifiers against Malta and England.
The Italian football federation (FIGC) did not specify what the investigation was about but said the two midfielders were allowed to go home on the basis they are not in the right state to face upcoming matches. A statement on Thursday read: “The federation announces that this afternoon the Turin public prosecutor’s office has conducted investigations into players, Sandro Tonali and Nicolò 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.”
Nicolò Zaniolo in action for Italy in September. Photograph: Nicola Marfisi/AGF/Shutterstock
Turin prosecutors said on Wednesday they were investigating another Italian footballer, Nicolò Fagioli, for alleged illegal betting activities. Fagioli is facing a parallel investigation by FIGC prosecutors to determine whether his alleged gambling involved football matches.
Tonali joined Newcastle for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £55m, from Milan in July, while Zaniolo joined Villa on loan from Galasataray in August.