It was just a week ago that Nicolo Fagioli was with a few of his Juventus teammates watching club legends play a little bit of football on one of the better nights the club has had throughout a tumultuous year or two. He was taking pictures with those same legends afterward, a smile on his face like so many others who were in attendance had.
Everything since then has not been so wonderful and happy.
And as it turns out, that night of legends is going to be the last night we see Fagioli in Juventus colors for a while.
Fagioli, the first name to be brought to light in Italy’s latest sporting scandal, has reached a plea deal with the Turin Prosecutor’s Office and the FIGC for his sports betting activities. At first he risked up to a three-year suspension, but with the agreement that was announced Tuesday, Fagioli has been suspended for seven months from sporting activities and has another five months after that amount of time that will be committed to his ongoing rehab activities, including therapy and meetings to deal with his gambling addiction.
Juventus have yet to comment on Fagioli’s suspension, which will keep him out through the rest of the 2023-24 season.
Fagioli’s gambling activity came to light last Wednesday and has since, understandably, been front page material for all of Italy’s biggest sporting outlets in the following days. Other players have been involved, but it’s been the 22-year-old Fagioli who has been the one who has cooperated the most with investigators, first self-reporting his own gambling activities and then likely giving more information on the matter that led to a plea deal that is well over half of what was originally feared.
Fagioli reportedly told investigators that he bet on football, but said bets never involved the teams he played for (Juventus, Juventus Next Gen and Cremonese).
While he will not be able to take part in club activities, Sky Sport Italia has reported that Fagioli will be able to train at Continassa during his suspension. Fagioli trained with the rest of the group that isn’t out on international duty on Tuesday.
But now, this is the biggest step yet in Fagioli the person getting over the biggest hurdle of his young career. A week ago, we didn’t expect to be sitting here just a few days before Juventus takes on one of its biggest rivals and talking about the club’s brightest young talent being suspended for something like this, but if this is the start of something new for Fagioli then that’s what needs to happen.
Hopefully the help that Fagioli gets over the next 12 months can help him shake a serious addiction that impacts so many around the world. We admire Fagioli the footballer plenty, but right now it’s all about Fagioli the young man getting right before the football can return to his life again.