Ivan Toney learns England World Cup fate amid FA betting investigation

England's Toney relishing the chance to claim a World Cup spot

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Brentford ace Ivan Toney will still be able to go to this winter’s World Cup in Qatar if selected as part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad, per reports, despite the fact he is currently being investigated by the Football Association over historic match betting. The striker has been in scintillating form this season and has bagged eight Premier League goals in 13 matches.

On Saturday evening, news of the FA’s investigation broke in the national media. The FA have refused to comment on the matter but, according to the Daily Mirror, Toney will still be available for selection for club and country while the investigation is being carried out.

Toney missed Brentford’s Premier League clash with Nottingham Forest on Saturday after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Wolves last weekend. But the ace released a statement to address the investigation.

“I’m aware of a story about me in a national newspaper today,” the 26-year-old wrote on Instagram. “I have been assisting the FA 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 childhood dream to play for my country at a World Cup Finals.”

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The FA confirmed: “A worldwide ban on betting on football was introduced for all those involved in the game at Premier League, English Football League, National League and The FA Women’s Super League and The FA Women’s Championship levels. Participants covered by the ban will be prohibited from betting, either directly or indirectly, on any football match or competition that takes place anywhere in the world.

“This also includes a worldwide ban on betting on any other football-related matter. For example, the transfer of players, employment of managers or team selection. The passing of inside information to somebody that uses the information for betting remains prohibited.”

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At the end of 2020, current England right-back Kieran Trippier was given a 10-week ban and fined £70,000 for breaching betting rules. And he pulled out of his country’s Nations League clash with Denmark in October 2020 to give evidence on the matter. But he wasn’t stopped from playing for the Three Lions during the investigation.

Toney, who joined Brentford for £5million from Peterborough in 2020, received his first call-up to the England squad earlier this season but failed to make it onto the pitch for the Nations League clashes with Italy and Germany. And after snubbing the star, Southgate said: “I understand the push as it is so close to the World Cup but there is life for Ivan Toney beyond the World Cup as well.

“He is very much in the frame and what he does with his club between now and then is also really important. First and foremost, it has been great for Ivan to be with us and see how we work. Everybody wants to get into the team and on to the pitch.”

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