Former Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge has been banned from playing football by the FA and FIFA until June 17 for breaking betting rules. The 30-year-old had been charged with 11 breaches in July last year, nine of which were later dismissed by a Regulatory Commission.
Dissatisfied with the verdict, FA appealed the charges resulting in the ban being increased from two weeks to four months after an Appeal Board found that the Regulatory Commission misapplied FA’s rules and made erroneous findings of fact. Sturridge’s fine was also increased from £75,000 to £150,000.
“The Appeal Board agreed with the FA that the penalty originally imposed on Mr. Sturridge was unduly lenient and therefore increased his effective playing ban from two weeks to four months,” the FA said in a statement. “FIFA has confirmed that the suspension will be of worldwide effect.”
Following the successful appeal, Turkish side Trabzonspor terminated the player’s three-year contract by mutual consent. “We thank Daniel Sturridge for his contributions to our club and wish him success in his future career,” the club said in a Twitter statement.
“My season is over. I feel uncomfortable and don’t think it’s the right thing for me to continue accepting wages from a team I can’t contribute to,” Sturridge said in a video posted on his YouTube account. “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. The appeal panel recognized I hadn’t bet and nobody else had bet, but I was still charged.”
The commission found that the striker passed information about his potential transfer from Liverpool to Spanish side Sevilla in January 2018 to relatives. On his part, Sturridge said that he believes the case was overblown and misconceived. “I just want to say it’s been a very long and drawn-out process over the last couple of years and difficult to concentrate on my football,” he said. “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.”
“While the transfer market is not something that is easily predictable, betting on players moving clubs is a common practice,” says an expert from soccerbetting365.com. “While not all betting sites offer transfer betting, the more prominent the player, the more bookmakers will have this covered.”