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Harry Kane has only scored twice in the Premier League this season. It has been a cause of concern for Gareth Southgate, who does not have many options but his captain for goals.
Brentford forward, Ivan Toney, can be an able deputy for Kane if selected for this winter’s footballing extravaganza. He has impressed with eight goals in the Bees’ cause this season and is hoping to get his maiden callup for the Three Lions.
However, the Northampton native has yet to be cleared of legal trouble he finds himself in. He is at the centre of an investigation into match betting by the Football Association.
Regarding his ability to still go to Qatar if selected, the FA has refused to comment. However, the Daily Mirror has reported that the 26-year-old is available for selection for club and country while the investigation continues by the relevant authorities.
Toney did not make Brentford’s squad for their Premier League clash with Nottingham Forest. It was not because of the betting scandal but due to the fact that he picked up his fifth yellow card of the 2022/23 league campaign against Wolves last weekend.
Toney assisting the FA
Both Toney and the FA have not shared details on the matter. The Brentford man did reveal that he is in contact with the regulating body and is cooperating with their investigation on the subject.
He admitted the quandary he finds himself in and how it is jeopardizing his childhood dream of representing England at the grandest football stage.
“I’m aware of a story about me in a national newspaper today,” Toney wrote on Instagram. “I have been assisting the FA with their enquiries and will not be making any comment until such investigation has reached its conclusion. I am a proud Englishman and it has always been my childhood dream to play for my country at a World Cup Finals.”
FA serious about the betting ban
The Football Association has clamped down on betting by players and administrators. This was built on the worldwide ban on betting by officials and players alike by FIFA.
Such individuals were banned from placing bets on any footballing activities, irrespective of the fact if they are directly involved in such fixtures themselves or not. It does not pertain to matches but also includes transfers and other football-related matters including team selection, pitch conditions, and others.
“A worldwide ban on betting on football was introduced for all those involved in the game at Premier League, English Football League, National League and The FA Women’s Super League and the FA Women’s Championship levels. Participants covered by the ban will be prohibited from betting, either directly or indirectly, on any football match or competition that takes place anywhere in the world,” the FA statement read.
“This also includes a worldwide ban on betting on any other football-related matter. For example, the transfer of players, employment of managers or team selection. The passing of inside information to somebody that uses the information for betting remains prohibited.”
Toney is not the first England international to be caught in a betting scandal of late. Kieran Trippier was found in breach of the FA rules and given a 10-week ban. In addition, he was also handed a £70,000 fine for breaching betting rules, which saw him ruled out of the 2020 October international friendly window.