We are only hours into the International Break and already its wicked wind has blown storm clouds into town. Today, news has been released that the English FA have charged Daniel Sturridge with a violation of its betting rules.
The charges are a bit vague and news is still just trickling in. But as far as we can tell, the charge stems from the time of his loan move to West Bromwich Albion last season. The FA’s statement highlights the rules related to the violation and, taken with the club’s comments to media outlets, provide a bit of insight as to the true nature of the violation.
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 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) 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 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.’
The club have indicated that Sturridge have cooperated fully with the FA throughout this process and will continue to do so. The club’s comments also note that Sturridge has vehemently denied ever placing wagers on football.
What this means, then, is that based on his denial of ever placing bets on football and the specific rules outlined, it’s likely that Sturridge provided information on his loan move to someone who then used that information in a betting situation. Which is, I guess, kind of like the gambling equivalent of insider trading and not quite the scandal of someone like Joey Barton or Pete Rose, athletes who bet directly on sporting events.
Still, it is early in the round of news regarding this specific scenario, so until more information is released, we will continue with a bit of caution. Hopefully, it turns out to be nothing, but, at the very least, it is an annoying distraction in a week wherein there will be no Liverpool matches to pull us away. Lord, beer me strength.