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Sturridge Punished For Breaking Betting Rules

March 04, 2020

- Grant Whittington

Former England and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been banned from football until 17 June and he has been fined £150,000 for ignoring the FA’s betting regulations. This comes after the association appealed the independent regulatory commission’s initial lenient punishment.

Sturridge initially was banned for six weeks, two of which he served, and four of which were suspended. He also was fined £75,000. However, the association felt that the punishment was not adequate for the player’s breach of the rules when he told his brother to bet that he would be transferred to Sevilla in 2018, even though no such transfer took place.

The commission dismissed several other charges brought against Sturridge. The association appealed the initial punishment and it requested the independent appeal board to reinstate eight of nine other charges that had been dismissed.

Charge Dismissals Overruled

According to reports, the charges that the commission initially dismissed were with regard to FA rule E8(1)(b). The rule states that players who pass on inside information to others for the purpose of betting are in breach.

The board upheld the decision to dismiss six of the charges. However, two dismissed charges were reinstated. The board reportedly found that one of them was similar to the proven charge that Sturridge had told his brother to bet on the Sevilla transfer. It also found that, given the player’s instruction, other information he passed on to his brother could have been used for betting purposes.

Player’s Friend Also Involved

Furthermore, the board found that Sturridge had not only provided privileged information to his brother. He also gave confidential information regarding his loan to West Bromwich Albion to USA-based friend Daniel Hemmings.

Tellingly, the player had asked his friend to search for the odds given on what was then the possible West Brom move. Sturridge went on to tell Hemmings that odds of 4/5 were too short to place a bet, while odds of 6/4 were worth considering. The commission thought nothing of the player’s comments, but the appeals board was not convinced. Instead, it asserted that Sturridge was aware of Hemmings’ intentions.

Trabzonspor Contract Terminated

Earlier this week, the Turkish club Trabzonspor to which Sturridge had signed in August 2019 announced that a mutual decision had been made to terminate the player’s contract. In an interview, the striker said that he felt bad that he would receive a salary without making any contributions to the club. The club thanked the player for his contribution over the past few months.

Football Player Unrepentant

In a video on his official YouTube account, Sturridge complained that the matter had made it difficult for him to focus on his sport over the last two years. He also said that he was devastated that his season came to an early end because of the newly imposed four-month football ban.

The player also expressed defiance at, or a poor understanding of, the rule that prohibits players from passing on information that could be used for betting. Sturridge asserted that he would campaign for the right of professional footballers to pass on privileged information to friends and family without the possibility of being charged.

He proceeded to lay the blame entirely at the feet of bookmakers who offer odds on player transfers, and he went to on say that such betting is what ought to be prevented. Sturridge also complained that he had still been charged even though no one had bet. The player’s father’s cousin reportedly also tried to place a £13,000 bet on a transfer with Paddy Power, but the bookmaker rejected the bet

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