Ivan Toney could be banned from playing for months after he was charged by the Football Association with 232 alleged breaches of its gambling laws.
The Brentford striker, who has been in scintillating form for his club and had hoped to be included in England’s 26-man World Cup squad, was charged on Wednesday after the FA concluded an investigation into activity which covered a period of nearly four years.
“Ivan Toney has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of the FA’s betting rules,” the FA said in a statement. “It is alleged that the Brentford FC forward breached FA rule E8 232 times between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021.”
Footballers who play in England are banned from making any type of bet on football, or asking others to do so on their behalf. The FA’s rule E8 also bans the sharing of privileged information for the purposes of betting and sanctions can be tough.
In 2020 England international Kieran Trippier was banned from playing for 10 weeks and fined £70,000 after he was found to have shared information about his upcoming transfer to Atlético Madrid with his friends. An appeal made to Fifa to reduce the ban, observing that Trippier had not benefited financially from his actions, was rejected.
The former England player Daniel Sturridge was banned for six weeks after sharing privileged information on a transfer, this ban was extended to four months after a failed appeal. Last year, two Boston United players were charged with, between them, 757 breaches of Rule E8, related to placing bets on matches. The pair, Andi Thanoj and Jay Rollins, were subsequently found guilty and banned for five months.
Toney has one week to reply to the charges, with a deadline set of Thursday 24 November. The 26‑year‑old has scored 10 goals in the Premier League for his club so far this seaason.
In a statement, Brentford said: “The club has been in discussion with Ivan and his legal representatives about this matter and those conversations will continue privately. We will make no further comment until the matter has been completed.”
Source: The Guardian