Brentford and England football team striker Ivan Toney was handed an eight-month ban from all footballing activities by the FA on Wednesday, May 17.
During a personal hearing on the issue, Toney was also handed a fine of 50,000 pounds besides being warned about his future conduct with respect to the matter.
Toney, who was enjoying a fine campaign in the Premier League with Brentford having scored 20 times in 33 games, will not be able to play football till January next year.
That said, it’s worth pointing out that he will still be able to train with his teammates from September 17 of this year.
Unfortunately for Toney, that will come as little consolation for the Brentford striker who will miss eight months of his prime years due to his off-field actions.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at why Toney has been handed such a strict disciplinary ban by the FA and how many charges he’s now been found guilty of.
Ivan Toney betting ban
First and foremost, it must be made clear that the English FA takes betting, especially with active players very seriously. Plenty of high-profile players have been made an example of with a ban in the past albeit not always for such a long duration.
Moving on to November of last year and it was when the English FA announced that Toney had been charged with 232 counts for allegedly breaching betting rules. The charges in question corresponded to a period of four years from February 2017 to January 2021.
Fast forward to December 2022 and a further 30 charges were leveled against Toney, taking the overall count to 262. The additional 30 charges were for the period of March 2017 to February 2019.
Toney was on loan at League One Scunthorpe United from Newcastle United in 2017 and he also enjoyed a spell with Wigan Athletic before joining Peterborough United in 2018. It is during this period that he’s been found guilty of breaching betting violations.
He joined Brentford in the summer of 2020 and was a big part of their promotion push to the Premier League, however, the betting breaches that Toney has been charged with also factor in his time with the Bees up until January 2021.
After an independent body investigation into Toney’s 262 breaches of FA rule E8 - which deals with betting regulations for those who work in professional football in England - the FA withdrew 30 charges while the striker admitted to the remaining 232 charges.
While it is yet to be made clear which aspects of rule E8 Toney broke, the FA has insisted that they will reveal details in due course when the independent investigation body publishes its report.
The English FA, of course, has extensive rules pertaining to the prevention of betting by those who are a part of the professional game in England. In other words, players, managers, match officials and staff cannot indulge in betting activities while being a part of the sport.
The FA’s stringent betting rules are applicable across the English football pyramid. The rules state that participants in English football are prohibited from any form of betting on any football match across the globe whether it is direct or indirect.
The rules also state that players are prohibited from betting on transfers, predicting starting lineups, sacking managers, and injuries.
Toney isn’t the first English player to be involved in a betting scandal. The likes of Kieran Trippier and Daniel Sturridge have also been guilty of betting breaches in the past.
Former midfielder Joey Barton was also found guilty of similar offences during his playing days for a period of 2006 to 2016 and was subsequently banned for a period of 18 months in what was another significant ban for a player involved in a betting scandal.
Even though Toney’s ban isn’t as long as Barton’s, he will still not be able to play football till January 16, 2024 as a result of this ban.
Photo credit: Alamy