Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been banned from football for six weeks – four of which are suspended – and fined £75,000 for breaching FA betting rules.
In November 2018, the England international faced eleven misconduct charges, with nine of them concerning alleged breaches of the FA's "inside information rule".
Sturridge was accused of providing information to family and friends relating to possible transfer moves in January 2018, with the details allegedly used for betting purposes.
An independent Regulatory Commission dismissed those charges but found Sturridge guilty of two others, in which it was alleged the player told his brother to bet on a potential move away from Liverpool to Spanish side Sevilla.
A move to LaLiga never materialised and he joined West Brom instead, but the commission found Sturridge was in breach of FA rules because he passed the information on for betting purposes.
Sturridge's punishment is a six-week suspension from domestic football matches starting July 17, with four weeks of the ban suspended until the end of August 2020.
Therefore, the striker – who is a free agent following his release by Liverpool – will be free to resume footballing activities by July 31 if he does not commit any further breaches.
He has also been fined £75,000, though the FA seemingly feel the punishment is insufficient, confirming they will appeal against the ruling that dropped nine of the 11 charges made against him and the sanction that has been subsequently imposed.
A statement released by the FA read: “Mr Sturridge faced 11 charges. Nine of those charges (1a, 1b, 2, 5, 6a, 6b and 7-9) concerned alleged breaches of the inside information rule, in that, it was said, Mr Sturridge had provided inside information to friends and family about his possible transfer moves in January 2018, which information had then been used for, or in relation to, betting. Those charges were dismissed by the regulatory commission.
“The regulatory commission found proved charges 3 and 4, which alleged that, in that same transfer window, Mr Sturridge had instructed his brother, Leon, to bet on a possible move by him (Daniel) to Sevilla FC. In issuing that instruction, the regulatory commission found that, as a matter of fact, Mr Sturridge had provided his brother with inside information for that purpose.
“By way of sanction, the regulatory commission imposed on Mr Sturridge a six-week suspension from participation in any domestic football matches (including friendlies), such suspension being effective from 17 July 2019. Four weeks of that ban have been suspended until 31 August 2019, meaning that Mr Sturridge will be able to resume participating by 31 July 2019 in the event he commits no further breaches of FA Rule E8. In addition, the regulatory commission imposed a fine of £75,000 on Mr Sturridge.
“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.”
Sturridge was also in the news recently after his dog was stolen – and subsequently found – from his home in Los Angeles.