January 18, 2024 3 min read


Ivan Toney Reflects on Return to Soccer after Ban

The Brentford striker served an eight-month suspension for severe breaches of the English Football Association’s betting rules, which was a significant blow to his career

Premier League striker Ivan Toney has returned to action, ready to prove the lengthy suspension has not affected his game. Toney could return in Brentford’s Premier League match against Nottingham Forest. The athlete discussed his struggle with gambling addiction, stating he was a changed man and vowed to focus on his career, hoping to play for a top club.

The Athlete Had Time to Work Out His Gambling Issues

Speaking for Sky Sports, the troubled athlete discussed his ban and the challenges during this period. Toney admitted there was ‘no right time to move’ but emphasized the need to focus on personal growth and move forward. The striker spoke candidly about being diagnosed with a gambling addiction, highlighting how wagering could quickly spiral out of control.

You don’t realize what you’re doing at the moment. You only realize afterward you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing.

Ivan Toney

When asked about his responsibility and stance on the punishment, Toney acknowledged his accountability, noting that breaches of conduct warranted a punishment. He refused to comment on whether his eight-month suspension was too harsh, commenting that his opinion was irrelevant and that it was up to the relevant authorities to decide such matters.

The striker reflected on the impact on his family during the ban, mentioning the pain of missing matchdays and the opportunity to repay them through upcoming games. Despite feeling guilty about not helping the team during his absence, Toney emphasized the importance of moving forward and focusing on the present.

His Time Off Allowed for Much-Needed Introspection

Toney celebrated the end of his suspension with a social media post declaring he was “free.” The athlete expressed relief, adding the end of the suspension had lifted a weight off his shoulders and proclaiming he was excited to return to enjoying soccer. Toney could return to the field on Saturday in Brentford’s home Premier League game against Nottingham Forest.

The soccer star visualized his return to matchdays, expressing excitement about the little things he missed, such as walking to the stadium, warm-ups, and walking out of the tunnel ahead of kick-off. He warned Premier League defenses that he was ready to make an immediate impact and that his time off had not dulled his skills.

I feel I can pick up where I left off. I’ve got nothing to prove to anybody but just to myself. I want to focus on starting right and scoring goals sooner rather than later.

Ivan Toney

Reflecting on the challenging period when he couldn’t be at Brentford’s training ground, Toney described it as “painful” but credited the support of the right people around him. He emphasized the privilege of playing soccer for a living. The athlete shared he was past his addiction and would focus on his true priorities, hopefully avoiding any future punishments.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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