Daniel Sturridge has said he’s “absolutely gutted” after his worldwide football ban for breaching betting laws was extended until the end of the season.
Sky Sports reported on Monday that the 26-cap England international had become a free agent after terminating his contract with Turkish club Trabzonspor just prior to news of his ban extension.
The former Chelsea and Manchester City forward left Liverpool as a free agent in June 2019. He was soon handed a six-week ban from football (four of which were suspended) and fined £75,000 after a regulatory commission concluded he had given his brother “inside information” regarding a possible move to Sevilla in January 2018, which never materialised.
The Football Association appealed the punishment after adjudging it too lenient, and an independent appeal board has now doubled his fine, banning the player from any and all football activity until June 17, 2020.
Sturridge published a video via his official YouTube account where he spoke out against the processes in place that allow people to bet on which clubs players will join:
“This has been a very long drawn out process over the last couple of years and difficult to concentrate on my football. I am 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 and although the appeal panel had recognised I hadn’t bet and no one else had bet, I was still charged.”
The 30-year-old said he was very disappointed to learn the “original highly qualified” panel had their decision overturned following the FA’s appeal, adding: “I’m absolutely gutted about it. My season is over and I am devastated.”
Sturridge had revived decent form in the Super Lig, scoring four goals and recording four assists in 11 league appearances for Trabzonspor.