Brentford striker Ivan Toney has described being unable to train with his team-mates while he serves an eight-month suspension as “football prison”.

Toney was banned from all football-related activity by the FA in May after admitting to 232 breaches of its rules on betting.

As part of the punishment, the 27-year-old is not allowed at Brentford’s training ground until next month and he can only play matches again from January 17.

“It’s like a kid at Christmas — I’m counting down the days until I can train and be around the boys being in football prison at the moment,” Toney said on the Diary of a CEO podcast. “Being around the boys it will get a little bit easier but at the end of the week there’s no end goal or reward because you can’t play in the match.”

Toney scored 20 goals for Brentford in the Premier League last season and made his debut for England in March in a European Championship qualifier against Ukraine. Toney called getting banned “painful” and questioned the nature of the punishment.

“I feel like keeping me away from the (training) ground, if I wasn’t as strong in my head, that would break some people. We talk about mental health and these things, what’s that doing to a player who is not allowed in the environment? Keeping him away from the training ground knowing that football is their life and it’s all they’ve done from a young age, how is that going to help them at all?

“It doesn’t add up with the things they push forward. The whole football community is big on mental health and then the FA do this and pushes me away from the whole football environment.

“It’s not a nice feeling and the whole purpose of not being allowed at the training ground is baffling for me.”



‘Some players bet on football - they know it’s breaking the rules but still do it’

(Photo: Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

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