Ivan Toney banned over betting allegation is tallying down the days before he returns to Brentford training and feels the wait is like “being in football prison”.
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Toney who is 27 years of age, is serving an eight-month suspension after accepting he broke Football Association betting rules.
Toney will be out until 17 January next year but can return to training on 17 September.
“When I am around the boys, it will get a bit easier,” the striker told The Diary of a CEO Podcast.
Along with the ban, imposed in May, Toney was fined £50,000 and warned about his future conduct for 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules.
The FA’s regulatory commission pointed to a gambling addiction and concluded he needed help.
Toney was found guilty of the allegations between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021, during which time he represented Scunthorpe United, Wigan Athletic, Peterborough United and Brentford.
The striker Toney scored 20 goals in 33 Premier League appearances last season, helping Brentford finish ninth, but missed the Bees’ final two games against Tottenham and Manchester City due to his ban.
He won his first England cap as a late substitute in the 2-0 Euro 2024 qualifying win over Ukraine in March.
“The whole football community is big on mental health and then the FA are going to do this and push me away. It’s not a place I want people to feel sorry for me. That’s the last thing that I want,” Toney said.
“So, what if someone not as strong as me in the head is going through this situation and their punishment is they are not allowed at the club – that would break them.
“Right now, not being around the training ground, it does hurt me. I just know when I’m at the training ground, I train harder. It’s not a nice feeling. Not being allowed at the training ground is baffling to me.
“I’m counting down the days until I can be training and around the boys. It’s like being in football prison at the moment.”
Toney could make his Premier League return when Brentford face Tottenham away on 30 January, with the striker saying he has the “hunger to recharge and come back on another level”.