Ivan Toney’s ban from football was reduced to eight months due to his good record, “genuine remorse” and having been diagnosed with a gambling addiction, the Football Association (FA) said on Friday.
Toney was banned and fined 50,000 pounds ($63,105) earlier this month after the 27-year-old Brentford and England forward admitted to 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules, which included betting on matches he played in.
The FA’s independent regulatory commission published its written reasons for the ban where they said all parties had reached a common ground in reducing the sanction from 11 months to eight due to his young age and gambling addiction.
“This includes his relative youth at the time when the breaches began, his previous good record in respect of anything other than on-field breaches, and his genuine remorse which he expressed in fulsome terms before the commission,” the FA said.
“In addition, and of particular importance, the commission finds that a significant reduction should be made to reflect the diagnosed gambling addiction identified (by a psychiatry expert).
“He is determined to address his gambling problem with therapy at the conclusion of this season. Taking all of those matters into account the commission reduces the sanction by three months to a suspension of eight months.”
The sanction imposed would have been 15 months if Toney had not pleaded guilty.
Although Toney is banned until Jan. 16, 2024, he will be allowed to train with his team and get back to match fitness from Sept. 17.
Of the 262 alleged breaches, the FA said 126 were related to matches in a competition in which his club had participated or were eligible to participate.
“He maintains that he took a pragmatic view on 42 charges which he initially denied because he doubted he was responsible for them, but wanted to draw a line under these proceedings as soon as possible and therefore pleaded guilty to those,” it said.
A further 15 bets were placed by Toney to score in nine matches he played in, one of the “most serious” charges as his spot in the starting lineup was not public knowledge at the time.
The FA added that Toney made 13 bets on his own team Newcastle United to lose in seven matches between August 2017 and March 2018, when he was on loan at Wigan Athletic at the time.
“Mr Toney did not play in any of those matches where he placed bets against his loan club as he was not in the match squad or against his parent club as he was on loan,” the FA said.
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