A “devastated” Daniel Sturridge has maintained innocence after he was given a worldwide ban from football for a breach of betting regulations.
Sturridge was initially banned for two weeks and fined £75,000 last July after a Regulatory Commission ruled he provided inside information to his brother Leon over a possible transfer from Liverpool to Sevilla, which did not materialise.
The Football Association (FA) challenged that punishment, in the belief that it was too lenient, and an independent Appeal Board hit Sturridge with another two charges, which had originally been dismissed.
Sturridge has now been banned from all football-related activity until June 17 and had his fine doubled to £150,000.
The 30-year-old revealed on Monday he cut short his spell with Trabzonspor because he is unable to play and says bookmakers should not be allowed to take bets on transfer moves.
He said in a video posted on Instagram: “I just want to say it’s been a very long, drawn-out process over the last couple of years and difficult to concentrate on my football.
“It’s also been a crazy few days. I’m going to continue to campaign for professional footballers to be able to speak to their families and close friends without the real risk of being charged.
“I feel it’s the betting companies and the process of people being able to place bets on players moving clubs [that] has to be stopped.
“And although the appeal panel had recognised that I hadn’t bet, nobody else had bet, I was still charged, so it was very disappointing and upsetting for me to hear the news that the appeal panel had overturned the original highly-qualified panel’s ruling.
“With that being said, [it’s] devastating for me and I’m absolutely gutted about it. My season’s over and [I’m] devastated.
“I feel uncomfortable and I just don’t think it’s the right thing for me to be able to continue accepting wages from a team that I can’t contribute to due to being banned and I have come to a mutual agreement with Trabzonspor to terminate my contract.”
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