Ivan Toney says 8-month ban he was handed was spiteful

Ivan Toney has spoken out following his eight-month ban for breaching betting rules, criticizing the FA for their handling of his case.

Brentford forward Toney was banned for eight months in May and also handed a £50,000 fine after admitting to 232 breaches of Football Association betting rules. The allegations originally came to light in November ahead of England’s squad announcement for the 2022 World Cup.
Ivan Toney says 8-month ban he was handed was spiteful
Ivan Toney at a match for Brentford. Source: Getty
Although FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said Toney was not selected on “footballing grounds”, the 27-year-old said not going to Qatar was the “biggest punishment”.
He said;
“In a way it’s like get it out now so you don’t go England and then all of a sudden they want to wait until the end of the season to do the kind of things, but listen it is what it is.
“If they want to do it that way, I call it a bit spiteful but it is what it is and you just have to get on with it.
“The biggest punishment, even though I miss eight months of football, that was the biggest punishment to miss out on a World Cup – everyone’s dream – it is bigger than missing eight months of football. I believe in myself and hopefully I will be at the next one.”
Ivan Toney, who was given a reduced ban because of a diagnosed gambling addiction, can’t train with Brentford until September and will not be allowed to play again until January 17, 2024.
On how he plans to return to the game, the Brentford star said he doesn’t want any sympathy and vowed to come back a “different animal”.
He said;
“I have to concentrate on what I can do which is score goals and do well like every season and every year that has gone by.
Ivan Toney says 8-month ban he was handed was spiteful
Ivan Toney celebrates during the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Fulham FC. Source: Getty
“I have to prove people wrong like what I done when I first came into the Prem. They said I wouldn’t be able to score goals and I got into double figures. Next season, (I scored) 20 goals. So just keep getting better and better.
“The club (Brentford) have actually been very helpful and very supportive. Everybody at the club. Loads of footballers have messaged me too.
“The support is good but how I am I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. I done what I done before, the punishment is the punishment and get on with it. Like I said I just have to focus on when I come back training. I want to be a different animal when I come back. It’s going to be frightening.
Toney also outlined the need for football authorities to address its relationship with gambling. He said;
“The fact is, the majority of football teams now are sponsored by gambling companies. People out there are painting a certain picture of me, fair enough, but people that know me know who I am and what I’m about.
“The majority of football teams now are sponsored by gambling companies, so weigh it up. If the rules are not to bet, you shouldn’t be betting, but for people that need help there should be more around them to stop them going in that direction.
“When the time is right, I’ll speak out on the majority of things and clear a few things up that need to be cleared. That is not now, unfortunately.”

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