Ivan Toney Betting Investigation Endangers English Player’s World Cup Participation
English Premier League (EPL) striker Ivan Toney says he is cooperating with an investigation by the English Football Association (FA) into allegations of historical gambling on matches.
The existence of the inquiry, which is believed to have been ongoing for seven months, was revealed by on Saturday by The Daily Mail. It is believed to be focused on betting activity that occurred before Toney, 26, signed for his current club, Brentford, and there is no suggestion he gambled on or against his own team.
Nevertheless, under FA rules, soccer players in England and Wales have been prohibited from betting on soccer games globally since 2014, whether they are involved in them or not. They are also precluded from gambling on any matter that is in any way related to soccer, including player transfers, and from passing on privileged information to third parties.
World Cup ‘Childhood Dream’
Toney has emerged as a powerful center forward with a lethal finish over the past two seasons. This saw him receive his first call up for the England national team in September, where he is a viable backup for Harry Kane.
But the ongoing investigation could hamper Toney’s dreams of going to the World Cup, which kicks off in Qatar in just under two weeks.
England manager Gareth Southgate is set to announce his picks for the World Cup squad on November 10.
I’m aware of a story about me in a national newspaper today,” Toney wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “I have been assisting the Football Association with their inquiries and will not be making any comment until such investigation has reached its conclusion.
“I am a proud Englishman and it has always been my childhood dream to play for my country at a World Cup finals,” he added.
Toney has played much of his career in the lower leagues of English football. He at started Northampton, before moving to Newcastle in 2015. He played on loan at Barnsley, Shrewsbury, Scunthorpe and Wigan, before joining Peterborough in 2018. He moved to Brentford in 2020, where his goals helped the team secure promotion to the EPL.
Both Brentford and the FA have declined to comment on the matter. Should Toney be found to have breached the FA’s gambling rules, he could face a lengthy ban from the sport.
Notable players who have received gambling bans include then-Burnley midfielder Joey Barton, who was sidelined for 18 months after he admitted placing 1,260 bets over a decade, including several wagers that related to his teammates.
In 2020, former England striker Daniel Sturridge was banned for four months for leaking insider information about his transfer from Liverpool to Inter Milan in January 2018 for betting purposes.
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