'Devastated' England striker Daniel Sturridge banned from football for breaking betting rules

Former Liverpool and Chelsea player terminates contract in Turkey after English FA punishment

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Former Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge said he was "devastated" after being handed a worldwide ban from football for breaching gambling rules.

The 30-year-old, who mutually terminated his contract with Turkey's Trabzonspor, was given a six-week ban in July - four of them suspended - and fined £75,000 (Dh352,000), but the English Football Association appealed the independent regulatory panel's decision.

An independent Appeal Board increased his ban to four months and doubled his fine after it deemed the original penalty to be "unduly lenient".

The former England international, who also played for Chelsea, Bolton and West Bromwich Albion after starting his career at Manchester City, was accused of passing on inside information on potential transfer moves away from Liverpool in January 2018.

"I'm absolutely gutted my season's over. I'm devastated," Sturridge said in a video on his YouTube account.

"Daniel Sturridge has been suspended from all football and football-related activity from today until the end of 17 June 2020," the FA said in a statement.

"In relation to the sanction, the Appeal Board agreed with The FA that the penalty originally imposed on Mr Sturridge was unduly lenient and therefore increased his effective playing ban from two weeks to four months.

"The Appeal Board also doubled the fine to £150,000."

Sturridge, who led the line for England at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 among 26 caps for his country, added: "I'm going to continue to campaign for professional footballers to be able to speak to their families and close friends freely, without the real risk of being charged.

"I feel the betting companies and the practice and the process of people placing bets on players moving clubs has to be stopped."

Sturridge joined Trabzonspor from Liverpool on a three-year deal in August and had seven goals and four assists for the Turkish Super Lig side in all competitions.

He thanked the club and said he had no choice but to leave them.

"I feel uncomfortable and I just don't think it's the right thing for me to continue accepting wages from a team I can't contribute to due to being banned," he said.