Allegations of betting-related rule breaches surfaced in November 2022 and likely played a significant role in his omission from England’s World Cup soccer team. The ongoing investigation uncovered hundreds of violations dating back to 2017. While Toney has admitted to most of the accusations, he announced his intention to dispute at least some of the charges.
Toney Abused His Insider Knowledge
The soccer star’s woes began as England’s Football Association (FA) charged him with actively participating in gambling activities. The Association’s ongoing investigation since uncovered 262 violations, including 30 FA rule E8 breaches. The resulting scandal immediately impacted Toney’s career, as he missed the World Cup and is now facing a lengthy ban.
Toney has since pleaded guilty to most of the FA’s charges but continues to dispute some key accusations. While soccer players can legally wager at sportsbooks, regulations explicitly ban them from placing wagers on their sport. FA rule E8 explicitly forbids players from sharing or using inside information for betting purposes.
The Star Player Will Be off the Pitch for Several Months
Similar violations are not uncommon among athletes. If we look to history for precedent, Toney will likely face a several-month ban. A similar case in 2021 found Boston United players Andi Thanoj and Jay Rollins guilty of similar charges. The duo had placed a combined 757 bets, resulting in a five-month ban.
Since Toney is disputing some of the charges, the FA will first need to evaluate his claims and decide if the additional evidence is sufficient to dismiss them. In either case, the matter will move on to an independent Regulatory Commission, which will pronounce the final verdict and resulting punishment.
Lucky Timing Means That Toney Should Soon Be Back in Action
Although certainly unpleasant, the ongoing debacle should not do too much additional damage to Toney’s career. His recent stellar performance helped him maintain his position as one of the most desirable UK players. A quick resolution by the FA means much of his sentence would occur in the summer, and he would only miss the beginning of next season.
Brentford’s position in the Premier League is nearly guaranteed, even with one of its star players missing. Once the FA announces its final judgment, Toney will hopefully manage to retain his transfer value and leverage his performance to attract offers from high-profile clubs. However, his recent dispute will likely push the verdict until April. The Brentford player likely gambles that a reduced sentence will offset the extra month. Fitting, given the nature of his charges.