Ivan Toney says missing last year’s World Cup was a bigger punishment than the ban he received for breaking Football Association betting rules.

The Brentford striker was banned for eight months in May after admitting to 232 breaches of FA betting rules.

He was charged in November and missed out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup.

“Support is good, but how I am, I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me,” he told the Kick Game YouTube channel.

“Even though I miss eight months of football, that was the biggest punishment, to miss out on a World Cup – everyone’s dream – it is bigger than missing eight months of football.”

Toney won his first England cap as a late substitute in the 2-0 Euro 2024 qualifying win over Ukraine in March, having received his first call-up to Southgate’s squad last September.

The 27-year-old, who was given a reduced ban because of a diagnosed gambling addiction, will not be allowed to play again until 17 January 2024.

He can return to training with Brentford on 17 September, four months before the ban ends.

“I done what I done before, the punishment is the punishment and get on with it,” Toney said.

“I just have to focus on when I come back training. I want to be a different animal when I come back. It’s going to be frightening.”

Toney was the Premier League’s third highest scorer last season with 20 goals and helped Brentford to a ninth-place finish.

Source: BBC