A week or so ago, the FA released a surprising official statement regarding Brentford striker Ivan Toney.
Seemingly out of nowhere, it stated that the organization had launched an investigation into some alleged misconduct by the striker, with the exact offence being gambling.
Following the initial statement, the FA released a fresh one earlier today, and it is startling, to say the least.
Not only did it confirm Toney’s betting activities, but it also stated that the striker partook in football gambling 232 times, primarily during his period at Peterborough.
Toney is yet to offer a response to the charges and has been given a week to do so.
Given that the offence was supposedly repeated 232 times, it’s likely that the striker is indeed pretty guilty.
The World Cup omission suddenly makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
As for the repercussions, the FA have strict rules in place against any sort of Football – related betting activities for players, and they’ve made sure to reaffirm them by handing out some lengthy bans.
Even insider information that could prove valuable to betting activity is off limits, Kieran Trippier learned that the hard way after he was banned for 10 weeks for sharing information on his transfer to Atletico Madrid.
With possibly 232 bets under his belt, the odds aren’t in Toney’s favour, a lengthy ban from football is likely on the cards.
Fans on Twitter were taken aback after the statement landed, and after the initial surprise subsided, a barrage of hilarious memes followed.
Following the revelation, fans began deep-diving into every bit of dodgy activity by Toney on the pitch, with one instance, in particular, standing out.
Dating back to his Peterborough days, the moment under the lens ends with the striker getting sent off for a very blatant handball.
It all begins with a corner and ends with Toney slapping the ball away while being inches away from the goal line. In fairness, the clip fails to provide any context, and it could’ve been a genuine, albeit illegal way to save a goal.
However, there’s no denying that Toney opting to use his hand instead of heading the ball away remains very suspicious.
The discourse then broke into a larger argument surrounding the number of betting promotions and sponsorships in English Football, which certainly points towards a tinge of hypocrisy on the FA’s part.
The past few years have seen gambling companies grow in prominence as sponsors, to the point where clubs now have ‘betting partners’.
Perhaps the FA need to exercise the so-called ‘Golden Rule’, and limit the influence of these companies on English Football.