The Football Association (FA) announced on Friday that Ivan Toney’s football ban was reduced to eight months because of his positive track record, sincere regret, and diagnosis of a gambling addiction.
Toney, who plays for Brentford and England, was previously fined £50,000 ($63,105) and banned after admitting to 232 violations of the FA’s betting regulations, including betting on games in which he participated.
The independent regulatory commission of the FA has released a statement explaining the reason for the ban. They stated that all parties involved agreed to reduce the punishment from 11 months to eight because of the player’s youth and addiction to gambling.
“This includes his relative youth at the time when the breaches began, his previous good record in respect of anything other than on-field breaches, and his genuine remorse which he expressed in fulsome terms before the commission,” the FA said.
“In addition, and of particular importance, the commission finds that a significant reduction should be made to reflect the diagnosed gambling addiction identified (by a psychiatry expert).”
“He is determined to address his gambling problem with therapy at the conclusion of this season. Taking all of those matters into account the commission reduces the sanction by three months to a suspension of eight months.”
If Toney had not admitted his guilt, he would have faced a 15-month penalty. Despite being prohibited from playing until January 16th, 2024, Toney can still practice with his team and regain his physical form starting September 17th. Out of the 262 supposed violations, 126 were linked to games in a tournament that his team was qualified for or had taken part in.
“He maintains that he took a pragmatic view on 42 charges which he initially denied because he doubted he was responsible for them, but wanted to draw a line under these proceedings as soon as possible and therefore pleaded guilty to those,” it said.
Toney placed 15 additional bets on himself to score in nine matches, which was considered a serious charge because his position in the starting lineup was not known publicly. The FA also stated that Toney made 13 bets on his team, Newcastle United, to lose in seven matches between August 2017 and March 2018, while he was on loan at Wigan Athletic.
“Mr Toney did not play in any of those matches where he placed bets against his loan club as he was not in the match squad or against his parent club as he was on loan,” the FA said.