Ivan Toney, who plays for English Premier League football club Brentford, has admitted he is “assisting” the Football Association (FA) with an investigation amid newspaper reports he bet on football matches earlier in his career.
The Daily Mail said the FA has been investigating Toney for seven months over allegations he was betting on games during his time playing in the lower leagues.
It is not thought that Toney ever placed bets on the team he was playing for at the time to lose.
FA rules strictly prohibit players, coaching staff and other club employees from betting on football matches anywhere in the world.
The FA is yet to make an official comment on the case, though Toney posted a message on Twitter to confirm he is assisting the FA with enquiries in an undisclosed investigation.
“I’m aware of a story about me in a national newspaper today,” Toney posted when the story broke over the weekend. “I have been assisting the Football Association with their enquiries and will not be making any comment until such investigation has reached its conclusion.”
The news comes ahead of the 2022 World Cup kicking off later this month, with Toney having been widely expected to be selected for the English national team. Toney was called up to the England squad for the first time in September but is yet to earn a cap for the national side.
“I am a proud Englishman, and it has always been my childhood dream to play for my country at a World Cup,” Toney added in his Twitter post.
Toney’s club Brentford also acknowledged the story and the FA investigation but said it would not be commenting on the news.
The 26-year-old striker joined Brentford at the start of the 2020-21 season, helping the team win promotion from the second-tier Championship to the Premier League, scoring 31 league goals in the process.
Prior to this, he spent two years playing for Peterborough United in League One, after a series of loan spells at other lower league clubs while he was playing for Newcastle United.
Toney only made four senior appearances during his time with Newcastle, having joined the club from League Two side Northampton Town, where he began his career.