Brentford striker Ivan Toney has been handed an 8 month ban from all footballing activities by the FA following over 200 breaches of the organisation’s betting code, but one question has been asked plenty of times already. Can he play outside of England?
On 17th May, the FA announced in a statement that Toney ‘has been suspended from all football and football-related activity with immediate effect for eight months, fined £50,000 and warned as to his future conduct for breaches of The FA’s Betting Rules.’
As per BBC Sport, ‘the alleged breaches took place between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021, during which time Toney represented Scunthorpe United, Wigan Athletic, Peterborough United and Brentford’.
The London Evening Standard add that ‘he admitted to 232 betting charges after 30 were withdrawn’. He won’t be able to train with Brentford for the first four months’ of his ban’, they add.
The Englishman, whose transgressions first came to light in November 2022, has scored 20 Premier League goals this season and would in other circumstances have been expected to make the step up to an elite club this summer, though he was valued at £100m by Bees boss Thomas Frank just last week.
But would the English FA rules still apply if he moved abroad?
The Trippier case
Though Toney’s particular case is not clear, we can look to the case of fellow Englishman Kieran Trippier for guidance on his potential fate.
Trippier, then at Atletico Madrid was found guilty of four betting breaches, and was forced to serve a 10 week ban which included La Liga games.
As per iNews, ‘the ban extends to any match in England or abroad, regardless of whether or not a player or staff is involved, and includes other markets related to transfers, managerial appointments or team selections. Players can also be charged for providing insider information that would not otherwise be known in the public domain’.
It means that Toney’s next football involvement will have to wait until at least September, when he is permitted to rejoin training with Brentford, and that he is unable to play any first team game until 2024.