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Premier league striker Ivan Toney has been hit with an eight-month ban from football and fined £50,000 for breaching betting rules.

The Brentford FC forward and England international was charged with violations of the Football Association’s (FA) rule E8, which bans professional players from betting on games worldwide or from sharing information for betting purposes.

He was initially charged with 262 breaches that occurred between 25 February 2017, when Toney was still under contract at Newcastle United, and 23 January 2021.

However, the FA subsequently withdrew 30 of these breaches. Toney, who is the Premier League’s third top scorer this season with 20 goals, behind only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane, admitted to the remaining 232.  

The sanctions were subsequently imposed by an independent regulatory commission following a personal hearing.

Toney is only permitted to return to training with his club for the final four months of his suspension, starting from 17 September 2023.

In a statement, Toney said: “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,” he added.

Gambling sponsorship

Brentford FC are reportedly searching for a new non-gambling front-of-shirt sponsor amid plans to terminate their current agreement with South African bookmaker Hollywoodbets.

In April, the Premier League voted to ban gambling logos from the front of jerseys from the end of the 2026/27 season.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Brentford manager Thomas Frank highlighted the irony of Toney facing consequences for participating in a leisure activity that soccer actively promotes.

“When Ivan runs out with the name of our sponsor on his shirt, it sends mixed signals to everyone that football allows betting companies,” he said.

“There should be some rules from the Government to prevent that. There is better gambling awareness now and safe gambling but there is much to be done.

“Perhaps if I reflect on what would be a perfect world, would I rather have less money and not have betting on the front of our shirts even if it means we don’t have as good players? Maybe.

He continued: “It is ultimately about results and money and you can never be perfect but you have to have the intention to have the right values and do the right thing.”

Brentford’s owner Matthew Benham also owns betting and data analytics firm Smartodds, but there are reportedly no commercial agreements in place between the company and the football club.

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