Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been handed a four month ban from all football-related activity after it was found that he had breached the FA’s betting rules.
Sturridge, who terminated his contract with Turkish side Trabzonspor earlier on Monday, was originally issued a six-week ban last summer, of which four weeks were suspended, in addition to a £75,000 fine.
An independent regulatory commission found that Strurridge had offered his brother ‘insider information’ by instructing him to place a bet on the former England player joining Sevilla during the January 2018 transfer window, however the transfer never materialised.
The FA has since described the initial sanction to be too lenient, and subsequently lodged an appeal. An independent appeal board has found that the regulatory commission had misapplied the FA’s rules and found proven two further charges against Sturridge which were originally dismissed.
The additional charges that were dismissed all concerned Rule E8(1)(b) of the FA’s rules which state: “Where a participant provides to any other person any information relating to football which the participant has obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available at that time, the Participant shall be in breach of this rule where any of that information is used by that other person for, or in relation to, betting.”
As Sturridge has already served two weeks of his suspension, the ban will end on 17 June. The ban will apply to all competitions sanctioned by global football governing board Fifa.
“Daniel Sturridge has been suspended from all football and football-related activity from today until the end of 17 June 2020,” said an FA statement on Monday.
“Following an appeal by the FA of the previous findings of the independent regulatory commission in this case, an independent appeal board has found that the regulatory commission misapplied the FA’s rules in relation to the use of inside information and made findings of fact which could not be sustained.
“As a result, the appeal board has found proven two further charges which were originally dismissed. Other factual findings of the regulatory commission were left undisturbed.
“In relation to the sanction, 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 appeal board also doubled the fine to £150,000.
“FIFA has confirmed that the suspension will be of worldwide effect.”