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Daniel Sturridge escapes long-term suspension after betting breach

Daniel Sturridge, former Liverpool FC and England striker, has been issued with a six weeks suspension and a £75,000 fine after being found guilty of breaching betting rules. However, The Football Association (FA) intends to appeal the verdict, which they believe is too lenient.

Sturridge has been found guilty by a regulatory commission of giving his brother inside information on a possible move to Sevilla during the transfer window in January 2018. Before the English forward was sent on loan to West Bromwich Albion he had been heavily linked with moves to both Inter Milan and Sevilla. Sturridge faced 11 charges in total but nine were dismissed.

“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,” said Sturridge in his statement after a verdict was published.

Despite being issued with an initial six weeks 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.

The Football Association, the governing body of football in England, has not been satisfied with the penalty suffered by 29-years old player. According to the FA, the former Liverpool player has to suffer at least a six-month ban. A date for the Association’s appeal, however, has not been set yet.

“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 FA announced in a statement.

The former minister for Sports, Tracey Crouch, who last year resigned from her position, backed the Football Association and called the ruling a “mockery of the FA rules”.

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’.

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