Football Association chief executive Mark Billingham has insisted that Evan Toney was left out of England’s World Cup squad on football pitches.
Toney, the Premier League’s third-highest scorer behind only Erling Holland and Harry Kane, was surprisingly left out of Gareth Southgate’s final squad, with many fans questioning how the Brentford striker failed to make the cut. Stayed.
A few days after the squad was announced, however, Toney was charged by the FA with 232 alleged breaches of betting regulations.
Amid claims that the allegation was behind Toney’s axing, Billingham told BBC Sport: “He was absolutely available for selection. He wasn’t selected on football grounds.”
Billingham was questioned by the FA over Toney’s absence from the squad in 2020, compared to the ten-week suspension handed down to Kieran Trippier. This resulted in a ban, and some supporters predict the same for Tony.
While Billingham emphasized that the two cases were separate, he acknowledged that laws must be ‘enforced’ when violations are found.
“I think our laws are very clear and we have very few cases,” he explained. “Obviously, when laws are broken we will try to enforce them.”