The FA reduced Ivan Toney’s suspension due to gambling addiction diagnosis
Brentford striker Ivan Toney has been diagnosed as a gambling addict which led him to bet on his own clubs to lose matches, according to the English Football Association (FA) reasons for him impose an eight-month ban.
The 27-year-old was hit with a suspension and £50,000 fine earlier this month after accepting 232 breaches of FA betting rules.
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English football’s governing body published the full verdict of the independent regulatory commission on Friday and revealed that it had sought a 15-month ban but issued a reduced sentence after taking into account the guilty plea of the attacker and the evidence of a psychiatric expert who concluded that he was a drug addict.
The FA report said: “The Commission has benefited from a report from Dr Philip Hopley dated February 2, 2023 who also attended the hearing via video link to answer questions.
“Dr. Hopley interviewed Mr. Toney twice and concluded in his report that Mr. Toney had a clear history of gambling addiction.
“There is no need to set out the details of the report in these reasons. It was Dr. Hopley’s conclusion that Mr. Toney needed professional help with respect to his addiction.”
It also emerged that Toney had placed 13 bets on his own team only to lose in seven different games between August 2017 and March 2018 when he was on loan from Newcastle United to Wigan Athletic and then Scunthorpe United. He did not play in any of those matches.
In a separate accusation, Toney told a friend he would start his club’s next game in March 2018 despite it not being common knowledge and also admitted to lying to the FA when questioned for the first time on the charges. Toney has now stopped betting on football and the report says he is “committed to resolving his gambling problem with therapy”.
England manager Gareth Southgate earlier this week criticized the extent of the ban and said the football community should do more to support Toney rather than ostracize him, especially since he is not allowed to train with Brentford before mid-September.
Brentford said in a statement: “Brentford FC have received and accepted written reasons from an independent regulatory commission which imposed an eight-month ban on Ivan Toney from all football and football-related activity after acknowledging breaches of the FA rule E8, relating to the placement of football bets.
“The club will now do everything possible to support Ivan and his family in dealing with the issues raised in this case. Conversations about this and all matters relating to the case will remain confidential in order to protect the player and his family.
“We consider this matter closed and look forward to welcoming Ivan back into training in September and seeing him represent Brentford in the Premier League in January.”