England striker Ivan Toney is at the centre of a shock match betting probe by the FA just weeks before the World Cup gets underway.
Toney was handed his first Three Lions call-up in October as Gareth Southgate included the Brentford ace in his pre-World Cup squad. But former Liverpool ace Emile Heskey wouldn't take the attacker on the plane to Qatar.
However, the 26-year-old's got bigger worries right now after The Sun revealed the FA are looking into him for alleged betting wagers placed on games at one of his old clubs. Toney's had previous spells at a slew of teams including Newcastle and Wigan Athletic, but it's unclear where the bets are said to have taken place at this stage.
However, the FA are yet to charge Toney, who is slightly concerned by the investigation, but strongly maintains his innocence, according to a source. Toney himself also addressed the allegations in a Twitter post on Saturday, saying: "I have been assisting the Football Association with their enquiries and will not be making any comment until such investigation has reached its conclusion.
“I am a proud Englishman and it has always been my dream to play for my country at a World Cup.” Regardless of the outcome of the FA's investigation, Toney will be relieved to hear he's not facing criminal, or match-fixing charges.
But the FA's stringent rules forbid all football personnel from making bets related to the sport in any capacity, on or off the pitch. The lawbook states: "Players shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in or in connection with a football match or competition.
“Or any other matter concerning or related to football anywhere in the world, including, for example and without limitation, the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters.” England boss Southgate will no doubt be keeping an close eye on the investigation into Toney as the start date for the World Cup looms.
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