Daniel Sturridge, former Liverpool FC and England striker, has been issued with a six week suspension and a £75,000 fine after being found guilty of breaching betting rules.
The charges relate to allegations brought towards the footballer during the January 2018 transfer window.
In that transfer window, Sturridge completed a late loan move to West Bromwich Albion, however, throughout the month he had been heavily linked to both Inter Milan and Sevilla.
He was alleged to have instructed his brother to place bets on these potential moves, and was found guilty of breaching charges three and four over providing inside information. The striker faced a total of 11 charges over the breach.
The FA’s ‘Rulebook of Conduct’, under Rule E8 prohibits any syndicated athlete, match official, club executive or steward to bet directly-or-indirectly on football matches of any level. Moreover, the rule also prohibits members of ‘instructing, permitting or enabling any third party of wagering on football matches’.
Regarding the verdict, a relieved Sturridge had this to say: “I am pleased that nine of the 11 charges were dismissed and that the panel found me to be an honest and credible witness, and that my actions on one particularly difficult day were out of character. I am training hard and fully focused on the upcoming football season.”
Despite being issued with an initial six week ban, Sturridge has seen four of those weeks suspended until August 31st 2020, meaning the free-agent, will be able to step back out onto the field of play as soon as July 31st 2019.
Upon hearing of the verdict to suspend the footballers sentence, the FA confirmed it’s intentions of appealing the decision: “The FA respectfully disagrees with the regulatory commission’s findings and will be appealing against the charges which were dismissed and the sanction which was imposed.”
The 29 year old, who has been heavily linked with a move to the MLS, commented on the FA’s decision to appeal his sentence: “It is extremely disappointing to hear that the FA will be appealing this decision. I will continue to defend the case and the appeal.”