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Brentford striker Ivan Toney will not take to the field again until January 17 of next year after the FA handed him an eight month ban for hundreds of betting violations over the past six years. The punishment represents a hammer blow for Toney at a pivotal stage of his career and for his club's prospects in the 2023-24 season, which he will miss around half of.

The 27 year old, who has also been handed a £50,000 charge, was initially charged with 262 breaches of the FA's betting rules between February 2017 and January 2021. That number was subsequently dropped by 30 after the FA withdrew some incidents. Toney pled guilty to all the remaining charges.

Toney will be unable to train with Brentford for the first four months of his suspension and will be unable to take the field until mid-January. The Premier League's fixture calendar has not been confirmed in full for the new season, but he will likely return to a side that has played around half of its top flight games.

"Ivan Toney has been suspended from all football and football-related activity with immediate effect for eight months, which runs up to and including 16 January 2024, fined £50,000 and warned as to his future conduct for breaches of The FA's Betting Rules," The English Football Association said in a statement.

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"The Brentford FC forward was charged with 262 breaches of FA Rule E8 in total between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021. The FA subsequently withdrew 30 of these breaches and he admitted to the remaining 232. His sanctions were subsequently imposed by an independent Regulatory Commission following a personal hearing. He is permitted to return to training only with his club for the final four months of his suspension starting from 17 September 2023.

"The independent Regulatory Commission's written reasons for these sanctions will be published in due course, and The FA will wait to review them before commenting further."

His absence will be keenly felt by Brentford. Toney, who received his first England cap in March as the FA charges were hovering over him, has scored 21 Premier League goals this season, a tally bettered only by Erling Haaland. Indeed, in the Bees' two top flight campaigns 32 of their 112 goals have come from their talismanic center forward. They have won just three of their nine league games without him.

In response, Brentford said,  "Brentford FC notes the decision of an independent Regulatory Commission to issue an eight-month ban from all football and football-related activity to Ivan Toney with immediate effect.

"Ivan was charged with breaches of FA rule E8 and had a personal hearing earlier this week. Brentford FC is currently awaiting the publication of the written reasons of the independent Regulatory Commission. We will review them before considering our next steps."