Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was given a six-week suspension and fined £75,000 ($94,000) for violating the Football Association’s gambling regulations during the January 2018 transfer window, FA announced Wednesday.
Sturridge, a former England international player, is a free agent after his contract with Liverpool expired. The Regulatory Commission, which underwent a 15-month independent investigation into the claims, found that Sturridge told his brother, Leon, to bet on a possible move to Sevilla, per reports from Sky Sports and The Guardian.
The FA plans to appeal, calling the sanctions too lenient. Sturridge will be available for the start of the Premier League season on Aug. 9 since the suspension is split between now and August 2020.
Sturridge’s 9 of 11 charges dismissed
Sturridge, 29, was charged with misconduct in November 2018 for breaking betting rules by giving inside information to those placing bets. The commission found that he told his brother to bet on a move to Sevilla on two separate occasions. That move broke down and he ended up with West Bromwich Albion for the second half of 2017-18.
He was charged with 11 total counts. Nine of them were for providing inside information to friends and family about possible transfers, which they then used to make bets, per The Guardian. They were dismissed by the commission.
The other two were specifically passing along information to his brother, which found to be “a matter of fact.”
The regulation gave Sturridge the fine and what could become a six-week suspension. He is suspended until July 31 and as long as he does not breach any more FA guidelines, his four-week suspension beginning Aug. 31, 2020, will be dismissed, according to reports.
FA to appeal Sturridge punishment
The FA will appeal the dismissed charges and sanctions, telling The Guardian in a statement that it “respectfully disagrees” with the findings.
According to Sky Sports, the FA felt any suspension less than six months would “wholly fail to reflect the gravity of the case.” The commission reviewed more than 3,500 pieces of evidence, including messages between Sturridge and family members, and the FA believes it was a “family affair,” per Sky Sports, with each member playing his or her own role.
Sturridge said in a statement it is “extremely disappointing” the FA will appeal the decision and he will “continue to defend the case and the appeal.”
Players have asked for a “revised approach” to punishing gambling, though some see the FA as being too strict and others believe they need to look deeper.
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