Brentford striker Ivan Toney banned 8 months for breaching betting rules

Brentford striker Ivan Toney banned 8 months for breaching betting rules

LONDON — Brentford striker Ivan Toney was suspended for eight months by the English Football Association on Wednesday for breaching its betting rules.

The FA said the England international was banned “from all football and football-related activity with immediate effect” until Jan. 16, 2024. He was also fined 50,000 pounds ($62,000).

Toney had faced 262 charges of breaching the FA’s betting rules between late February 2017 and late January 2021, but the FA said it “withdrew 30 of these breaches and he admitted to the remaining 232.”

The FA said Toney’s sanction was imposed “by an independent Regulatory Commission following a personal hearing.”

Despite the threat of a ban hanging over him, Toney has been in outstanding form this season, scoring 20 Premier League goals.

Only Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and Tottenham’s Harry Kane have scored more than him in English soccer’s top division. His performances have been so impressive that he made his debut for England in March in a European Championship qualifier against Ukraine.

“I am naturally disappointed that I will be unable to play for the next eight months,” Toney said in a statement posted on Twitter. “The written reasons for the commission’s decision have not yet been published, so I make no further comment at this point other than to thank my family and friends, Brentford FC and our fans for their continued support, through what has been a very difficult time.

“I now focus on returning to play the game I love next season.”

Toney will be allowed to return to training with Brentford for the final four months of his ban.

His club also said it would wait for the FA’s written reasons for the punishment “before considering our next steps.”

Toney is not the first prominent soccer player to be banned for violating gambling rules.

Former Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton was banned for 18 months in 2017 after admitting placing 1,260 soccer-related bets over a period of more than 10 years. That was later reduced by almost five months on appeal.

Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge received a four-month suspension in 2020 for breaching rules on inside information related to gambling.

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