On Monday news reports surfaced that claim Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been charged with betting offenses by the English Football Association. The charges themselves offer few details, but they seem to stem from Sturridge’s time on loan at West Bromwich Albion in January of 2018. If found guilty of the charge, Sturridge faces a large fine or a suspension from play. He has until 6pm on November 20 to respond to the charges.
The FA’s statement makes note of the rules that say soccer players playing professionally in any of the top 8 tiers of English soccer may not be associated with betting on the sport in any way. The charge highlights the following rules:
Rule E8(1)(a)(ii) states: ‘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 relating 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) states: ‘Where a participant provides to any other person 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 the 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.’
That’s a lot of word salad, but the charge essentially makes it sound as though Sturridge passed along some information that may not have been publicly known in order to help somebody else place a winning bet on soccer.
Liverpool Football Club said that Sturridge has been cooperating fully with the FA throughout the process and that that will continue. Sturridge also denied every having anything to do with betting on soccer in any way. The Liverpool statement said, “Daniel has also stated categorically that he has never gambled on football. As is with any issue of this nature, we will allow the process to be fully concluded in its entirety before making any further comment.”
Players, managers, executives, match officials and club staff in the United Kingdom are forbidden by rule from participating in any form of soccer betting anywhere in the world. The rules were tightened in 2014 in order to keep the integrity of the game intact.
Sturridge has not enjoyed a regular playing role with Liverpool this season, but the England striker has been a regular rotation option. He has appeared in 12 matches in all competitions this season, including 7 in Premier League play. Sturridge has found the back of the net 4 times in those 7 Premier League appearances.
Whatever the case, the charges surrounding Sturridge sound like more of an accusation of an indirect violation than accusing Sturridge of betting on matches directly, a la former Cincinnati Red Pete Rose.
Liverpool head into the international break sitting second in the Premier League on 30 points through their first 12 matches of the campaign. Title holders Manchester City are first on 32 points amid an unbeaten 10-2-0 start.
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