January 19 – In the latest twist of a case viewed by many as a key test of FIFA’s mettle, football’s world governing body has taken a significant stance against footballers breaching betting rules by upholding a 10-week global ban on England international Kieran Trippier and dismissing an appeal by his club, Atletico Madrid.
The 30-year-old was hit with the sanction by his national federation last month after advising a friend by text message to “lump on” his move to Madrid from Tottenham in 2019.
The ban was provisionally lifted when Atletico protested that the punishment hit them rather than the English national side and that the English FA could not ban a player who was not active in its own league.
But FIFA backed the original decision, ruling that “sanctions imposed on the player by the English FA (to) have worldwide effect”.
Trippier, who was also fined £70,000, has proved one of Atletico’s best players this season with the club vying for the La Liga title.
He has so far missed only two matches because of the ban but is now set to miss another eight crucial fixtures. As it stands, he will miss the first leg of Atletico’s Champions League last-16 tie with Chelsea on February 23, but could return for the second leg on March 17.
It is not over yet, however, with Atletico considering taking their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Although the ban will now resume up to and including February 28, if CAS agree to hear the case Trippier will once again become free to keep playing until a judgement is made.
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