Brentford talisman Ivan Toney hit with EIGHT-MONTH ban from football for 232 betting offences

Brentford striker Ivan Toney has been banned from football for eight months following an independent investigation into 232 alleged betting breaches.

Brentford and England striker Ivan Toney has been hit with an immediate eight-month ban from all footballing activity and fined £50,000 following an investigation into more than 230 alleged betting rule breaches. He indicated he would accept his punishment without fight.

The independent panel's ruling means the 27-year-old is unable to represent his club or country until January 16, 2024, while he cannot return to team training until September of this year.

Toney was charged with 232 breaches of FA betting rules in November 2022, before being hit with a further 30 charges the following month.

An FA statement read: "Ivan Toney has been suspended from all football and football-related activity with immediate effect for eight months, which runs up to and including 16 January 2024, fined £50,000 and warned as to his future conduct for breaches of The FA’s Betting Rules.

"The Brentford FC forward was charged with 262 breaches of FA Rule E8 in total between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021. The FA subsequently withdrew 30 of these breaches and he admitted to the remaining 232.

"His sanctions were subsequently imposed by an independent Regulatory Commission following a personal hearing. He is permitted to return to training only with his club for the final four months of his suspension starting from 17 September 2023. The independent Regulatory Commission’s written reasons for these sanctions will be published in due course, and The FA will wait to review them before commenting further."

Toney has been one of the best strikers in the Premier League this season, scoring 20 goals for the Bees. The specifics of his alleged betting offences have not been made public, and while he said he would give a longer statement when those are revealed, he suggested he would accept his suspension and fine.

“I am naturally disappointed that I will be unable to play for the next 8 months," he wrote on Twitter. "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 Football Club and our fans for their continued support, through what has been a very difficult time. I now focus on returning to playing the game I love next season."

In their own statement, Brentford said: "Brentford FC notes the decision of an independent Regulatory Commission to issue an eight-month ban from all football and football-related activity to Ivan Toney with immediate effect. 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."