Ivan Toney, the Brentford striker, has slammed the Football Association (FA) for ‘leaking’ details of his gambling charge investigation to the media. The 24-year-old is facing a lengthy ban from the game after being charged with breaching FA Rule E8(b) for allegedly placing bets on football matches.
The FA has yet to announce the length of the ban, but reports suggest it could be up to 18 months. Toney has denied the charge and is now taking legal action against the FA for the way it has handled the case.
In a statement released on his Twitter account, Toney said: “I am extremely disappointed and frustrated that the FA has chosen to leak details of my case to the media before I have had the opportunity to defend myself.
“I have been open and honest with the FA throughout this process and I am now taking legal action against them for the way they have handled my case.”
Toney’s legal team is expected to argue that the FA has breached its own rules by leaking details of the case to the media before the player has had the chance to respond.
The FA has yet to comment on Toney’s statement, but it is understood that the governing body is taking the allegations seriously and is conducting an internal investigation into the matter.
Toney is one of the most promising young strikers in the English game and has been in excellent form for Brentford this season, scoring 18 goals in all competitions.
The 24-year-old has been linked with a move to a number of Premier League clubs, including Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, but his future is now in doubt due to the gambling charge.
If the FA decides to impose a lengthy ban on Toney, it could have a huge impact on his career. The striker is likely to appeal any ban, but it remains to be seen if he will be successful in his legal action against the FA.
Whatever the outcome of the case, it is clear that Toney is unhappy with the way the FA has handled the investigation and he will be hoping that his legal action will result in a more favourable outcome.