Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham has stressed that Ivan Toney was left out of England’s World Cup squad ‘on footballing grounds’.
Toney, the Premier League’s third highest scorer behind only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane, was a surprise omission from Gareth Southgate’s final squad, with many fans questioning how the Brentford striker failed to make the cut.
A few days after the squad announcement, however, Toney was charged by the FA with 232 alleged breaches of betting regulations.
Amid claims that the charge was behind Toney’s omission from the squad, Bullingham told BBC Sport: “He was absolutely available for selection. He was not chosen on footballing grounds.”
Bullingham was quizzed on Toney’s absence from the squad in comparison to a ten-week suspension handed out by the FA to Kieran Trippier in 2020. The then-Atletico Madrid man was found to have told friends to bet on his transfer to Atleti from Tottenham and was banned as a result, and some supporters have predicted something similar for Toney.
While Bullingham stressed the two cases were separate, he admitted rules must be ‘enforced’ when breaches are found.
“I think our rules are very clear and we have had a small number of cases,” he explained. “Obviously, we will look to enforce the rules when they are broken.”