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Daniel Sturridge hit with football ban and fined for breaching FA betting rules

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Not the best start to pre-season

Daniel Sturridge has been handed a £75,000 fine and six-week ban from football after he was found guilty of breaching FA betting rules.

The former Liverpool striker, who officially left the Reds last month upon the expiry of his contract at Anfield, was charged in November following an investigation into bets made in January 2018.

The bet was regarding Sturridge's loan move - which turned out to be to West Brom - where his brother Leon had placed a wager on him temporarily moving to Sevilla, which was later proved by the Regulatory Commission.

The commission have handed Sturridge a six-week suspension from participation in any domestic football matches, starting on July 17. The ban includes pre-season friendly matches.

A statement released by the FA on Thursday said: "We are today publishing the written reasons of the Regulatory Commission which heard the case brought against Daniel Sturridge, formerly of Liverpool Football Club.

"Mr Sturridge faced eleven 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 6 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 is currently a free agent but has been linked to an array of top-flight sides this summer; including Wolves, Newcastle and West Ham.

SPL contenders Rangers - managed by former team-mate Steven Gerrard - are also rumoured to be interested in capturing his signature, though this ban will certainly prove a hinderance to any club wishing to sign him ahead of the forthcoming 2019-20 campaign.