Brentford striker, Ivan Toney has been doing quite some talking lately and has raised eyebrows in the wake of an eight-month ban imposed on him by the Football Association (FA) following 232 violations of gambling regulations that were brought against him.
According to Ivan Toney, this occurred prior to the Qatar World Cup while he held aspirations of representing the England national team, leading the Brentford star to question the timing and motives behind the investigation.
Toney’s gambling activities had spanned the years between 2017 and 2021, with the consequences coming at him in the crucial moment of his career.
The delay, occurring six months after initial allegations surfaced, fueled Toney’s belief in a larger conspiracy against him.
Despite his impressive record of netting 32 goals in the Premier League for Brentford over two seasons and his prior inclusion in England squads, Toney’s dreams of representing his country at the Qatar 2022 World Cup were dashed following the betting scandal.
Speaking candidly on the Diary of a CEO podcast, Ivan Toney established motion for a conspiracy theory as he expressed his frustration at the timing of the allegations and subsequent punishment:
“I guess it comes down to the allegations from the betting scandal. But personally, I felt like it was a bit of a questionable time when they decided to bring it all out, only to then actually deal with the situation at the end of the season. It was kind of like: ‘Why did you bring it out then wait to punish me?'”
When pressed about the possibility of the betting scandal being strategically exploited to prevent his inclusion in the England squad, Toney responded,
“I assume so, to make it a bigger story. I don’t know if that’s true, I’m not to know what’s behind the scenes but I feel like if you have somebody going to the World Cup that’s supposed to be betting – it’s a bigger story. It was a bit of a coincidence when they decided to bring it all out.”
The striker’s sentiments were vivid as he reflected on the emotional toll of being sidelined from the World Cup:
“I felt like ‘someone is out to get me’ to stop me playing for England. It doesn’t add up in my head. It’s everybody’s dream to be playing at the World Cup, to miss out and then further down the line to be banned as well?”
“It’s a double hit I feel. If you were gonna stop me from going to the World Cup, do it then and deal with the whole situation.”
Ivan Toney had previously represented England in a Euro 2024 qualifying match against Ukraine in March 2023. However, he is now facing a ban from all football activities until January 2024.