Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge charged by FA over alleged betting breaches

• Striker insists he has ‘never gambled on football’
• Charge believed to relate to loan move to West Brom

Daniel Sturridge has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of the Football Association betting rules in January, although the Liverpool striker insists that he has “never gambled on football”.

Even if this is found to be true a guilty verdict could still be returned due to the rules Sturridge is alleged to have contravened being wider than directly betting on the sport.

It is believed the charge relates to Sturridge’s loan move from Liverpool to West Bromwich Albion at the beginning of the year, with the FA pointedly referring to “the period of January 2018” in its statement.

Footballers are barred from gambling on matches but are also prohibited from any involvement on betting in matters connecting to the game, including the transfer of players. No information over player movement can be passed on to third parties.

This case is likely to centre on whether information was knowingly disclosed as the charge refers to allegedly passing on “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 FA has conducted an exhaustive eight-month investigation but Sturridge remains adamant he has done nothing wrong. A Liverpool spokesperson said: “Daniel has given his full and unequivocal cooperation throughout this process and has assured the club he will continue to do so. Daniel has also stated categorically that he has never gambled on football.As with any issue of this nature, we will allow the process to be concluded in its entirety before making any further comment.”

The charge Sturridge faces is in relation to rule E8(1)(a)(ii) and Rule E8(1)(b). Of rule E8(1)(a), FA regulations state: “A participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on (i) the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in or in connection with, a football match or competition; or (ii) any other matter concerning or related to football anywhere in the world, including, for example and without limitation, the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters.”

Rule E8(1)(b) concerns: “Where a participant provides to any other 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.”

Sturridge, who is out of contract at Anfield in the summer, has until 20 November to enter a plea.

The striker suffered a dreadful time at The Hawthorns, playing six games, failing to score before injuring his hamstring and returning to Liverpool.

He has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance this season under Jürgen Klopp, scoring in the Champions League and also securing a draw at Stamford Bridge with a stunning 30-yard equaliser against Chelsea in the Premier League.

Contributor

Jamie Jackson

The GuardianTramp

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