The Football Association (FA) will reportedly seek a worldwide sanction for Ivan Toney’s eight-month ban from football. The Brentford striker was suspended on Wednesday after admitting to breaching the FA’s betting rules 232 times and was fined £50,000. As it stands, the current ban only applies to English football, meaning that Toney would be ineligible to join a foreign club on loan during his suspension. However, once Brentford hypothetically applied to do so, the FA would inform the buying club’s FA and FIFA of Toney’s ban in England, prompting FIFA to apply the ban worldwide. Once the written reasons of Toney’s punishment are published, the FA will formally apply to FIFA to endorse the punishment globally.
This move is not unprecedented, as Tottenham’s Daniel Sturridge and Kieran Trippier were also sanctioned for breaching betting rules while playing abroad. Sturridge had to end his contract with Trabzonspor in 2020, while Trippier missed 10 weeks of football with Atletico Madrid in early 2021. FIFA may review the FA’s decision by setting up its own disciplinary committee to discuss the details, but there is no clear precedent where FIFA has failed to endorse a worldwide ban in circumstances such as this.
Toney’s suspension starts immediately, and he will miss Brentford’s final two games of the season. The one-cap England forward has scored 21 goals in 35 appearances for Brentford this season and has the right to appeal the punishment. In a statement, Brentford said they were “awaiting the publication of the written reasons of the independent regulatory commission. We will review them before considering our next steps.”
Despite the ban, Brentford plans to hold talks with Toney in the summer with the intention of extending his deal, which will be into its last 18 months once his ban is concluded. The club had been braced for offers for Toney from big clubs before the emergence of his betting discrepancies. Head coach Thomas Frank has recently said the club values him at least £100m, and they see a window of opportunity to retain his value, especially if he returns to the Premier League with a bang next year and puts his name back on top of club’s shopping lists in the 2024 summer market.
Brentford has no interest in penalizing Toney for effectively being in breach of his contract, as the majority of his offences had been made before he joined the club. In fact, they intend to support him and his family in every possible way while he is not allowed to attend the club and will continue discussions over a potential appeal against the disciplinary commission’s sentence once written reasons are published.