LONDON: Daniel Sturridge, the former England striker, has been banned from football for four months and fined £150,000 for breaching betting rules.
The ex-Chelsea and Liverpool man was given a six-week ban last summer, four of them suspended, but the Football Association appealed against the findings of the independent commission.
Hence the appeal board decision which also doubled the 30-year-old’s orginal fine.
Sturridge’s contract with Turkish side Trabzonspor had been terminated by mutual agreement earlier on Monday. In a video on his YouTube account Sturridge said it had been “a crazy few days” after the “disappointing and upsetting” decision ended his season.
He added: “I just want to say it’s been a very long and drawn out process over the last couple of years and difficult to concentrate on my football.
“I’m going to continue to campaign for professional footballers to be able to speak to their families and close friends freely, without the real risk of being charged.
“I feel the betting companies and the practice and process of people placing bets on players moving clubs has to be stopped.”
He thanked Trabzonspor but added he felt “uncomfortable” continuing to receive wages from the club due to being unable to “contribute”.
Sturridge had faced various charges alleging he passed on inside information over a potential transfer in January 2018.
A statement from the FA said the appeal board had ruled the commission “misapplied rules in relation to the use of inside information and made findings of fact which could not be sustained”.
As a result, the board found proven two further charges that had originally been dismissed.
Liverpool announced in June 2019 that Sturridge – who scored eight times in 26 appearances for England – would be leaving the club that summer at the end of his contract.
He went on to score seven goals in 16 appearances for six-time Turkish champions Trabzonspor.
The former Manchester City and Chelsea forward’s most recent England appearance came as a substitute in a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania in October 2017.
Sturridge has been suspended from all football and football-related activity until the end of 17 June.
The commission found he had instructed his brother Leon to bet on a possible move to Spanish side Sevilla, and that he had given him inside information during the January 2018 transfer window.
Sturridge said the FA’s case was “overblown and misconceived” and that he gave an innocent explanation for text messages to his brother.
Submissions on his behalf said he did not have the type of personality that is drawn to adrenaline or the risk of wrongdoing, and had no real interest in gambling.