Ivan Toney hit with eight-month football ban for breaching betting rules

Ivan Toney will not play again for Brentford or England this season after being handed an eight-month suspension for violating The Football Association’s betting regulations 232 times.

The forward was expected to be severely punished after he was subject to 262 FA charges at the end of 2022. However, the extent of the ban has still surprised many within the game. Under the terms of the sanction, Toney will be suspended from playing until January 2024. He cannot train with his Bretford teammates until September.

In a short statement on Twitter yesterday, Toney said: “Today I have received notification of my eight-month ban from football following a hearing before an FA Regulatory Commission that took place yesterday. I am naturally disappointed that I cannot play for the next eight months.

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 a difficult time. I now focus on returning to play the game I love next season.

According to Rule E8, which prohibits players from betting on games, urging others to do so on their behalf, and disclosing confidential information for betting, the FA has charged Toney.

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“Ivan Toney has been suspended from all football and football-related activity with immediate effect for eight months, which runs up to and including 16 January 2024, fined £50,000, and warned as to his future conduct for breaches of the FA’s Betting Rules,” the FA said in a statement

“The Brentford FC forward was charged with 262 breaches of FA Rule E8 between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021. The FA subsequently withdrew 30 of these breaches, and he admitted to the remaining 232

“An independent Regulatory Commission subsequently imposed his sanctions following a personal hearing. He is permitted to return to training only with his club for the final four months of his suspension starting from 17 September 2023.

In earlier high-profile betting incidents, bets on Kieran Trippier’s potential move from Tottenham to Atlético Madrid resulted in a 10-week suspension and a £70,000 fine. At the same time, Joey Barton received an 18-month suspension for more than 1,000 violations of Rule E8

Toney has had an excellent season, scoring 20 goals in the Premier League and representing England in his first international game. Additionally, the timing of his penalty coincides with football’s reluctance to address its longstanding ties to the gaming business.

The Premier League has declared a voluntary ban on betting companies sponsoring team shirts. However, Sky Bet remains the EFL’s title sponsor, and gambling advertising is still widely present at all levels of competition.