LONDON: Tottenham winger Andros Townsend has been banned from all football for four months, three of them suspended, after breaching betting regulations.

An independent regulatory commission hearing imposed the sanction, which has been backdated to May 23 when he voluntarily withdrew from the England Under-21 squad competing later this week in the European championship finals inIsrael.

A statement released by the Football Association revealed that the three months of the ban have been suspended until July 1, 2016. They will be automatically invoked upon a proven breach of the FA’s betting rules during that period.

The statement said: “Townsend, who was also fined £18,000, was charged for breaches of FA Rule E8(b) for misconduct in relation to betting, which he admitted and requested a personal hearing.”

With Townsend’s ban effectively reduced to one month, the 21-year-old will be available for the start of next season.

He spent a successful loan spell at QPR, arriving atLoftus Roadin January, and while the club were relegated he received frequent praise from manager Harry Redknapp.

Once the FA had charged him with breaching their betting regulations, he pulled out ofEngland’s squad for the European Under-21s inIsraeland was replaced byBirmingham’s Nathan Redmond.

Townsend was not accused of betting on matches he had any involvement in, but the FA operates strict rules that forbid gambling on a wide spectrum of games.

A product of the Tottenham academy who had loan spells at various clubs, including Ipswich, Millwall, Leeds andBirmingham, he came to prominence at QPR last season with his energetic displays, emerging as one of the few highlights of a disastrous season.