March 3 – Former England striker Daniel Sturridge has been banned from football for four months and fined £150,000 for breaching betting rules.
The ex-Liverpool forward, who was playing in Turkey, said he was “devastated” over the ruling which followed an original six-week ban last summer.
Four of those six were suspended but the English FA successfully appealed against the ruling of an independent commission.
To make matters worse for Sturridge, the appeal board doubled the 30-year-old’s initial fine after it deemed the original penalty to be “unduly lenient.” Sturridge had faced a number of charges alleging he passed on inside information over a potential transfer in January 2018. Sturridge maintained they were innocent text messages to his brother.
Sturridge’s contract with Trabzonspor has been immediately terminated, a dramatic fall from grace over a once much-touted player who scored eight times in 26 appearances for England and also represented Chelsea and Manchester City.
In a video posted on his YouTube account Sturridge said: “I’m absolutely gutted my season’s over. I’m devastated,” describing his ban as “disappointing and upsetting” .
“I’m going to continue to campaign for professional footballers to be able to speak to their families and close friends freely, without the real risk of being charged,” he said.
“I feel the betting companies and the practice and process of people placing bets on players moving clubs has to be stopped.”
Sturridge said he felt “uncomfortable” continuing to receive wages from his club because he was not able to “contribute”.
A statement from the FA said the appeal board had ruled the commission “misapplied rules in relation to the use of inside information and made findings of fact which could not be sustained”.
But Sturridge countered that the FA’s case was “overblown and misconceived.”
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