Toney summoned by England after 8-month ban for breaching gambling rules

AP , Thursday 14 Mar 2024

Brentford striker Ivan Toney was handed an immediate England recall on Thursday after serving an eight-month ban for breaching betting rules.

Ivan Toney
Brentford s English striker #17 Ivan Toney (R) vies with Arsenal s Brazilian defender #06 Gabriel Magalhaes (2R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Brentford at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 9, 2024. AFP


Toney returned to action in January and has four goals in nine games.

England coach Gareth Southgate included the forward in his squad for friendlies against Brazil and Belgium this month.

Toney was banned last May after breaching 232 English Football Association betting rules and also fined 50,000 pounds ($62,000).

An independent commission said the punishment could have been worse if he had not been diagnosed with a gambling addiction. Among a “substantial number of breaches,” its report said some of Toney’s bets could have resulted in the maximum punishment of a lifetime ban.

Toney played for the first time this season on Jan. 20 and scored in Brentford's 3-2 win against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.

It is almost exactly a year since his last England appearance, a 2-0 win against Ukraine in a European Championship qualifier.

Southgate said Arsenal defender Ben White did not want to be considered for the squad. White left the 2022 World Cup early for “personal reasons.”

“For me, that is a great shame," Southgate said. "He is a player we took to the Euros, a player we took to the World Cup, and I spoke to him post-Qatar because I wanted to pick him. I want that door wide open. He would be in this squad but he’s not available to us and I have to focus on who can help us.”

Also with a shot of making Southgate's squad for the European Championship in Germany this summer were Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite and Newcastle forward Anthony Gordon after their first summons.

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez was called up for the first time since 2020.

There was no place for Kalvin Phillips, who has endured a difficult start to his loan spell with West Ham.

England play Brazil on March 23 and Belgium on March 26. Both games are at Wembley Stadium.

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