Ivan Toney hit out at “disturbing” speculation over the Football Association’s (FA) intended ban for his alleged breaches of betting rules.
The Brentford striker has been charged with 262 alleged violations by English football’s governing body, which took place over a four-year period.
There has been no official FA update on the matter but reports, initially by The Daily Mail on Tuesday, claimed Toney has pleaded guilty to the majority of charges and could face a six-month ban.
Those reports suggested the 26-year-old has also denied some of the violations, though Toney was left bewildered by reported leaks within the FA.
He posted on Instagram on Wednesday: “I was shocked and disappointed to see press speculation yesterday and today about the FA investigation process concerning me after I have been told by the FA that it is a confidential process until any decision has been made.
“It is especially disturbing for me to read that the FA is saying I shall be banned from football for six months before there has even been a hearing and it does make me worried about the process.”
Toney earned a first England call-up in September but was left out of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the World Cup.
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham stated that the forward’s omission from the squad in Qatar was decided on “footballing grounds”.
Toney plans to challenge the FA after a second instance of reported leaks.
He added: “My lawyers will be writing to the FA to request that they conduct a leak inquiry, as this is the second time stories have appeared in the newspapers – the last time was just before the selection for the England World Cup squad.
“As I continue to be told the investigation is meant to be confidential, I am unable to provide any further comment and shall continue to concentrate on my football.”
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