FA fails in appeal against reduced betting ban for Trippier

The English Football Association (FA) has lost an appeal to have Kieran Trippier’s suspension for a breach of betting rules extended, meaning the Atlético Madrid defender may avoid missing any further matches.

Trippier was charged with misconduct by the FA in May 2020 for a breach of the FA’s betting rules surrounding his move from Tottenham Hotspur to Atlético Madrid.

The FA went on to hand the right-back a 10-week suspension, ruling he breached FA Rule E8(1)(b), which bars players from disclosing information about potential transfers.

This came into force from 21 December 2020, while the defender was also fined £70,000 (€77,391/$95,479).

In January this year, that ban was reduced to four weeks, though the fine remained in place.

A hearing requested by the player saw reasons for the charge published. This revealed that Trippier told a friend who had mentioned betting on his next club to “lump it on” Atlético. 

Three other friends of Trippier’s, who were also informed of the move, placed bets on the deal. One staked a total of £912.75 in nine separate bets at odds between 5/6 and 1/6.

While the ban imposed by the the FA, football’s global governing body Fifa had previously determined it would be enforced worldwide. This would mean Trippier would be banned from playing for Atlético even though Spanish football is not under the FA’s jurisdiction.

However, Atlético appealed this aspect of the ban, arguing it could only be enforced in England.

As a result the global suspension was stayed on 2 January, meaning Trippier could play for the club pending his appeal. He had already missed three games up to that point.

However, as the FA’s ruling had said the defender was banned from 21 December 2020 until 28 February 2021, he was still effectively serving the ban while being permitted to play in Spain.

Because of this, the FA launched an appeal in order to “revise the dates” set by the independent disciplinary panel.

It wished to see the suspension apply either when Fifa allowed the ban to be enforced globally again, or when Trippier returns to an English club, whichever is sooner.

However, the panel rejected this request, saying only Fifa could determine if the ban should be global.

The appeals panel explained that the suspension applied to football and football-related activity in England, or for clubs subject to the jurisdiction of the FA, including the English national team.

“Our decision does not suspend [the player] from football and football-related activity for a club outside the jurisdiction of the FA; nor could it do so,” it added.

“That is why, of course, the FA sought a direction from Fifa that the suspension which we imposed upon [Trippier] should be given world-wide effect.”

It added that the dates of the suspension were not something that could be easily revised.

“In our view the commencement date for the suspension is just as much a part of our decision as is the period of 10 weeks suspension,” the panel explained.

It was an “unfortunate outcome” that Trippier would effectively avoid the majority of the ban, the panel admitted, but noted this did not mean the terms could be changed. Making such changes has “the very real potential to cause injustice”, it added.

In addition, it noted that Trippier was not going unpunished as the ban still had “deleterious effect upon [Trippier]’s transfer prospects” and the ruling was already having a “significant punitive effect” because of this.

Finally, it said that – as the date for a final Fifa decision on whether it could enforce the ban globally was unknown – a postponement may “cause significant stress and anxiety”.

Trippier has appeared 25 times for England, including all of England’s matches at the 2018 World Cup.

He signed for Tottenham – where he played 114 games including the 2019 Champions League final – from Burnley in 2015 before leaving for Spain in 2019, and has so far made 52 appearances for Atlético.

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