- Brentford striker Ivan Toney has served an eight-month ban for illegal betting
- His ban has now officially ended, meaning he is free to play this weekend
Brentford striker Ivan Toney has posted on X this morning that he is ‘free’ after his eight-month ban for breaching betting rules officially ended.
Toney has not played for the Bees since the end of last season after being suspended by the Football Association for admitting to 232 breaches of their betting rules.
But his ban is now over, meaning he is free to play in their Premier League clash with Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Taking to X on Wednesday morning, Toney posted a GIF of the comedian Dave Chapelle raising his arms in the air in triumph alongside the one-word message ‘free’.
After being handed his ban last May, Toney was not allowed to train with his team-mates until September.
Ivan Toney has posted on X that he is ‘free’ after his ban for illegal betting ended
Since then, he has been training with the rest of the squad to get into prime condition, and has stepped up his preparation for his return in recent weeks.
He scored a hat-trick in a behind-closed-doors friendly for Brentford’s B team against Southampton Under 23s earlier this month, and then got on the scoresheet again with a Panenka penalty against Brondby last Saturday.
Brentford shared the audacious spot-kick on their social media declaring that their talisman is ‘ready to return’, and Toney looks set to go straight back into the side for their crucial match against Forest at the Gtech Community Stadium.
Toney has been linked with a possible January move to Arsenal or Chelsea, but the 27-year-old recently spoke about wanting to repay Brentford boss Thomas Frank for standing by him during his ban, indicating that he plans to stay at the club for the rest of the season.
Toney has spoken openly about his struggles to come to terms with his ban, revealing that he ‘fell out of love with football and didn’t watch it for a while’, but he has vowed to make an instant impact on his return to Premier League action.
This will be music to the ears of Brentford fans as they look for their team to move away from the bottom three now that they have the England international back in their ranks.
Brentford are currently just three points above the drop zone, having failed to win any of their last five leagues games, and they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolves on Tuesday night.
More to follow…