Football: Daniel Sturridge banned six weeks, fined £75,000 for breaking FA betting rules

An independent commission found the former Liverpool striker had given his brother inside information on a possible transfer to Sevilla for betting purposes.
An independent commission found the former Liverpool striker had given his brother inside information on a possible transfer to Sevilla for betting purposes.PHOTO: REUTERS

(THE GUARDIAN) - Daniel Sturridge has been suspended from football for six weeks and fined £75,000 (S$127,400) after being found guilty of breaching Football Association betting rules.

An independent commission found the former Liverpool striker had given his brother inside information on a possible transfer to Sevilla for betting purposes.

Sturridge, who is without a club following his release by English Premier League club Liverpool, has been suspended from playing any domestic matches with immediate effect. The final four weeks of the ban are suspended, however, meaning the 29-year-old is free to resume his career with a new club from July 31.

The former England international was cleared of nine of 11 charges relating to his loan move from Anfield in January 2018. He ended up joining West Bromwich Albion after a deal with Sevilla fell through.

The FA, however, considers the commission's findings and sanction too lenient and has announced that it will appeal.

A statement issued by the FA read: "Mr Sturridge faced 11 charges. Nine of those charges (1a, 1b, 2, 5, 6a, 6b and 7-9) concerned alleged breaches of the inside information rule, in that, it was said, Mr Sturridge had provided inside information to friends and family about his possible transfer moves in January 2018, which information had then been used for, or in relation to, betting. Those charges were dismissed by the regulatory commission.

"The regulatory commission found proved charges 3 and 4, which alleged that, in that same transfer window, Mr Sturridge had instructed his brother, Leon, to bet on a possible move by him (Daniel) to Sevilla FC. In issuing that instruction, the regulatory commission found that, as a matter of fact, Mr Sturridge had provided his brother with inside information for that purpose.

"By way of sanction, the regulatory commission imposed on Mr Sturridge a six-week suspension from participation in any domestic football matches (including friendlies), such suspension being effective from July 17, 2019. Four weeks of that ban have been suspended until Aug 31, 2019, meaning that Mr Sturridge will be able to resume participating by July 31, 2019 in the event he commits no further breaches of FA Rule E8. In addition, the regulatory commission imposed a fine of £75,000 on Mr Sturridge.

"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."