One of the most significant issues in the football community is illegal betting by players, which tarnishes the sport's integrity and fairness.
Over the years, betting scandals have implicated several players, leading to substantial fines and near career-ending bans.
Let's delve into the instances of five key footballers who faced severe consequences for their betting offenses.
1. Ivan Toney
Ivan Toney is the latest addition to prominent players facing betting offenses. In May 2023, authorities found the Brentford striker guilty of regularly placing bets on games involving his own team.
He staked 13 bets on his team to lose in 7 matches between August 2017-March 2018. He didn't play in any of those.
Additionally, he made 16 bets on his team to win 15 games.
Toney nearly faced a suspension exceeding eight months. However, his diagnosis of a “gambling addiction” was a mitigating factor in determining the length of his ban.
“I'll speak soon with no filter,” said the player.
2. Joey Barton
Former Premier League midfielder Joey Barton is a prominent figure in this unsavory chronicle.
In April 2017, the English Football Association found him guilty of placing 1,260 bets on soccer matches over ten years and subsequently banned him for 18 months.
Barton, who played for Burnley then, admitted to the charges, stating his addiction to gambling.
3. Daniel Sturridge
Another high-profile case involves former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge.
After finding Sturridge guilty of breaking betting regulations in July 2019, the authorities imposed a four-month global suspension on him along with a $191,000 fine.
The Football Association accused him of providing confidential information concerning a potential transfer to Sevilla, which his brother Leon used for betting purposes.
Sturridge left Turkish club Trabzonspor in 2020 as a result of further punishment from the FA ban.
4. Andros Townsend
Townsend voluntarily withdrew from England's squad for the Under-21 European Championship that year and underwent a rehabilitation program. He later revealed a $56,000 loss on the night while struggling with the gambling vice.
Kieran Trippier also became embroiled in a scandal concerning betting within the football sphere.
The Football Association (FA) accused Trippier of providing insider information about his anticipated transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Atletico Madrid to friends in 2019. His friends purportedly exploited this knowledge for betting activities.
In response to the accusations, the FA imposed a ten-week global ban from all football-related activities on Trippier in December 2020. This punitive measure extended to his club commitments with Atletico Madrid and his participation in the international arena representing England.
The FA also fined Trippier £70,000 alongside the ban for violating their rigorous betting regulations.