England World Cup hopeful Ivan Toney has said he is helping the Football Association with an investigation after it was reported he is being probed over allegations of historic match betting.
A report in the Sun said the 26-year-old Brentford striker is the subject of an inquiry over historical allegations which relate to a period before he joined his current club. The FA has declined to comment on the report, but Toney used social media to say he was co-operating with an investigation, indicating he hoped it would not impact his chances of being named in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad on Thursday.
“I’m aware of a story about me in a national newspaper today,” Toney said on Twitter. “I have been assisting the Football Association with their enquiries 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.”
Brentford issued a brief statement via their official website to acknowledge they were aware of the claims. It said: “We note the story concerning Ivan Toney and the FA investigation. The club will not be commenting.”
What do the FA rules say?
Under FA rules, players operating at Premier League, English Football League, National League and the FA Women’s Super League and the FA Women’s Championship levels are banned from betting on football.
The rules state: “Participants covered by the ban will be prohibited from betting, either directly or indirectly, on any football match or competition that takes place anywhere in the world. This also includes a worldwide ban on betting on any other football-related matter. For example, the transfer of players, employment of managers or team selection. The passing of inside information to somebody that uses the information for betting remains prohibited.”
Toney was part of the England squad for September’s Nations League clashes with Italy and Germany, but did not figure in either game as he awaits his senior international debut. He began his professional career with home-town club Northampton and, during a three-year stay at Newcastle, had loan spells with Barnsley, Shrewsbury, Scunthorpe and Wigan before making a permanent move to Peterborough in August 2018.
Toney joined Brentford in a £5million switch two years later and scored 33 goals as they won promotion to the Premier League in his first season. He has carried that form into the top flight with 12 goals in the last campaign and eight this time around to propel himself into the England squad with his clinical form from the penalty spot a major plus as manager Southgate prepares for the World Cup in Qatar.
The frontman missed Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest through suspension after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season against Wolves last weekend.