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Euro 2024 Qualifier: Two Italy players removed from squad ahead of England clash

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Two Italian national team players, Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo, have been excluded from the squad in preparation for their critical Euro 2024 qualifier against England next Tuesday. The decision to remove them from the squad for the Euro 2024 qualifier against Malta on Saturday and the subsequent match against England at Wembley follows their recent questioning by the police regarding alleged violations related to sports betting.

Both players made high-profile moves to the Premier League during the summer transfer window. Tonali was signed by Newcastle United in a substantial £55 million transfer deal from AC Milan, while Zaniolo joined Aston Villa on a loan arrangement from Galatasaray.

Nonetheless, they are facing accusations of betting on football events during their time in Italy. If found guilty, they could potentially face bans lasting at least three years.

Following their interviews with the police on Thursday, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) confirmed, in a statement, that Tonali and Zaniolo have been released from the national team squad ahead of the matches against Malta and England. The FIGC’s statement expressed concern about the players’ readiness to participate in the upcoming matches, and as a protective measure, the federation has allowed them to return to their respective club teams.

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Serie A: Osimhen on target in Napoli’s draw at Cagliari

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Victor Osimhen found the net for the second game in a row as Napoli settled for a 1-1 draw against Cagliari.

Osimhen put Napoli ahead in the 65th minute when Giancomo Raspadori intercepted Tommaso Augello’s pass and delivered a cross to the back post for Osimhen to head home.

This marked the Nigeria international’s eighth goal of the season in the league.

Despite numerous opportunities, Napoli failed to extend their lead, and Zito Luvumbo leveled the score for the home team in added time.

With 37 points from 25 matches, Napoli climbed to ninth place in the standings.

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UCL: Calzona warns Osimhen, others on player selection

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Napoli coach Francesco Calzona has issued a stern warning to Victor Osimhen and his fellow players, emphasizing that he will base his selection for matches solely on performance, without considering their names or reputations.

Taking over from Walter Mazzarri on Monday, Calzona made significant substitutions during Napoli’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona on Wednesday night, including star forwards Osimhen and Kvicha Kvaratskhelia.

Despite the Serie A champions securing a draw in the first leg of the Round of 16 contest at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, Osimhen was replaced immediately after scoring the equalizer in the 75th minute.

“I keep the players on the field who are performing well, I don’t take into account their names,” Calzona emphasized to Sky Sports Italia after the match.

Calzona further explained that he had not been tempted to keep Osimhen on the field longer after his goal. “No, in fact, I had been prepared to substitute him earlier, but due to tactical considerations, I kept him on for a few more minutes.”

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Ex-Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel confirms exit from Bayern Munich

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Thomas Tuchel has verified his exit from Bayern Munich. The club had previously announced that the German coach would depart at the conclusion of the ongoing season. The decision to part ways was mutual between the club and Tuchel. Confirming the conclusion of his tenure with Bayern, Tuchel informed reporters on Tuesday, “We have agreed to terminate our partnership after the conclusion of this season. Until then, my coaching staff and I will continue to strive for maximum success for FC Bayern.”

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