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12th Jun 2023

Ivan Toney hits back at ‘spiteful’ leaking of gambling charges

Callum Boyle

Ivan Toney

‘People try to break people down’

Ivan Toney has hit back at the public leaking of the news surrounding his gambling charges and claimed it was a ‘spiteful’ way to harm his chances of going to the World Cup.

Toney was given an eight-month ban from all football-related activities last month after being found guilty of breaching over 200 rules in relation to betting..

The Brentford forward wasn’t selected by Gareth Southgate for England’s World Cup squad in Qatar, despite being one of the country’s most in-form players at the time, after allegations of his gambling came into the limelight days before the squad announcement.

Speaking on the Kick Game YouTube channel, Toney admitted that missing out on going to the World Cup felt like a ‘bigger punishment’ than the current ban he is serving.

“People try to break people down,” said the 27-year-old.

“It come out, just before the England camp, obviously missing out on the World Cup… In a way, it was kind of like: ‘get out now so you don’t go [away with] England.’

“And then all of a sudden they want to wait until the end of the season… but it is what it is. They wanted to do it that way. I call it a bit spiteful. You just have to get on with it. 

“I feel that was a bigger punishment, even though I am missing eight months of football. That was a bigger punishment, missing out on the World Cup. 

“It’s everybody’s dream. I believe in myself and hopefully I can be at the next one.”

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham later revealed that the decision to omit the forward was solely down to sporting reasons and not the allegations against him.

As part of Toney’s ban he won’t be able to play competitively until January, but will be able to return to training from September.

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