England boss Gareth Southgate blasts Ivan Toney's eight-month ban, backs striker for Euro 2024

Gareth Southgate slams Ivan Toney treatment (1:52)

England manager Gareth Southgate criticises the terms of Ivan Toney's ban, which prohibits the Brentford striker from taking part in any form of football. (1:52)

Gareth Southgate has criticised the extent of Ivan Toney's eight-month ban and insisted the striker can still make England's squad for Euro 2024.

Toney was suspended from playing until January 2024 and fined £50,000 after accepting 232 breaches of the Football Association's rules on betting.

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The FA believe Toney broke Rule E8, which states a player must not "bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on" matches.

As a result, Toney was banned from "all football and football-related activity with immediate effect" and cannot train with his Brentford teammates until mid-September.

Toney was consequently left out of England's latest 25-man squad for next month's Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia, although Southgate made a point of contacting the 27-year-old, who made his international debut in March and has scored 20 goals in the Premier League this season but now faces an uncertain future.

"I have spoken with him," Southgate said. "I don't know if that's allowed, by the way. If it isn't then they can ban me and not add to his.

"Look, the ban is the ban. It is what it is. I think he recognised any accepted the punishment. What bothers me is we've got to look after people. He's injured at the moment, what does he do about getting fit?

"How do we give him some structure over the next few months that he can develop himself or be a better person at the end of it or have experiences that he might not experience? I don't like the idea that we just leave somebody so they are not allowed to be a part of the football community.

"I don't think that's how we should work, I don't think that's how the best rehabilitation programmes would work. But he knows that we picked him because we felt until there was a charge, he should be allowed to play.

"When he comes back, if he plays well then we'll pick him. It won't have any bearing but I think he'll have additional motivation through what he is experiencing. I think he is a resilient guy with great character and we are here to support."

With Toney absent, Newcastle United forward Callum Wilson was selected alongside England captain Harry Kane and Manchester United's Marcus Rashford as strikers capable of leading the attack.

Asked whether Toney would still have a chance of making next June's finals in Germany, Southgate said: "Yeah without a doubt. It is not ideal because he is going to miss a large chunk of the season and you don't know after that sort of period out how physically he is going to adapt and how he is going to play.

"But it is possible for him. There would still be time. He has really impressed us with the way he has played and I like personality. I like his belief and the way he goes about his job. So everything is still possible with him I think."