Brentford’s Toney banned for 8 months for betting on football

May 18 – Brentford striker Ivan Toney has been suspended from all football and football-related activity with immediate effect for eight months, fined £50,000 and warned as to his future conduct for breaches of The FA’s Betting Rules.

The England international admitted 232 breaches between February 2017 and January 2021. “He is permitted to return to training only with his club for the final four months of his suspension starting from 17 September 2023,” wrote the FA. 

The ban means that Toney will miss Brentford’s last two games of the season and won’t be available to play again until January 2024.

In a statement, 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 will be unable to 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 what has been a very difficult time.

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

The rules in English football are clear. Rule E8 of the FA states that a participant “shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on” matches they are involved in or have an influence on.”

This ban also includes betting on transfers of players, managerial appointments, team selection and any other football-related matters. 

In a statement, Brentford wrote: “Brentford FC is currently awaiting the publication of the written reasons of the Independent Regulatory Commission. We will review them before considering our next steps.”

The ban is damaging for Toney, who has been flourishing for the Bees, scoring more than 30 goals. But while the blanket ban preventing players from betting on anything football-related is nine years old, English football’s relationship with betting remains nebulous at best. 

Toney’s own club promote a betting firm on their shirts. The Premier League has however voluntarily agreed to ban gambling sponsors from the front of shirts from the 2026-27 season, a move the culture secretary Lucy Frazer welcomed in April. That concession by the Premier League was a pre-emptive designed to prevent a potential blanket ban ahead of new regulation of the gambling industry being prepared by the UK Gambling Commission. 

Premier League clubs have often failed to do their due diligence when it comes to betting sponsors, in particular Asian-facing brands. 

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