Ivan Toney has been pictured for the first time since being charged with misconduct by the FA for breaking betting rules.
After Sportsmail revealed he was being investigated by the FA, the Brentford striker was charged with 232 betting breaches in four years, after which Callum Wilson was chosen ahead of Toney as Harry Kane’s back-up in England’s Qatar World Cup squad.
It is understood that a report triggered by the probe is some 2,800 pages long. Toney became a contender for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad after a blistering start to the season, with 10 goals in 14 league games.
However, earlier this month it emerged he was at the centre of a seven-month FA probe.
Toney is not thought to have bet against his own team, an offence which could trigger a lifetime ban.
However, if he is found to have placed bets on his own side to win, a sizeable six-month ban is among the potential punishments.
The number of bets and how much he staked would be taken into account if Toney is found to have broken the rules.
The claims relate to the period from February 2017 to January 2021, when Toney played for Scunthorpe, Wigan, Peterborough and Thomas Frank’s Brentford – his current club.
But Toney didn’t seem to have a care in the world as he appeared in a picture alongside former Newcastle team-mate Rolando Aarons at a birthday celebration posted by Aarons on his Instagram on Wednesday night.
Jamaican winger Aarons, 27, now at Huddersfield, played alongside Toney at St James’ Park from 2015 to 2018 and posted snaps of his birthday bash on Instagram – showing Toney smiling widely in a dark blue shirt, jeans and trainers.
FA chief Mark Bullingham has insisted he did not tell Southgate to leave the 26-year-old out of his 26-man squad for the tournament because of the charges, claiming the decision was entirely for footballing reasons.
Toney has 10 goals in just 14 games for the Bees this campaign, which earned him a maiden England call-up in September, although he did not make his international debut in that round of matches.