Tottenham youngster Townsend forced to quit England squad for gambling
Tottenham midfielder Andros Townsend withdrew from England’s Under 21 squad last night after being charged by the FA with breaching betting regulations.
Townsend was set to play an important role for Stuart Pearce at the U21 European Championships next month, but pulled out of the 23-man party after the FA published the charge on Friday afternoon.
He has until June 3 to respond to the charges. There is no suggestion the 21-year-old, who has just ended a successful spell on loan at QPR, has been involved in any type of matchfixing or that he has gambled on games in which he has been involved.
FA Rule E8 (b)
Save for those Participants subject to the prohibition in sub-paragraph (a), a Participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on –
(i) the result, progress or conduct of a match or competition:
(A) in which the Participant is participating, or has participated in that season; or
(B) in which the Participant has any influence, either direct or indirect; or
(ii) any other matter concerning or related to any Club participating in any league Competition, as defined in Rule A2, that the Participant is participating in or has participated in during that season, including, for example and without limitation, the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters.
For these purposes, without limitation to the application of this Rule to other circumstances, all Employees of a Club are deemed to participate in every match played by that Club while they are so employed; all Players registered with a Club are deemed to participate in every match played by that Club while they are so registered.
However, it is believed that Townsend may have been placing large bets on other top-flight matches.
The FA, which has stringent betting rules that forbid gambling on a wide spectrum of matches, noted that Townsend has taken personal responsibility by pulling out of the squad, but he still faces a lengthy ban.
An FA statement read: ‘The FA charged Andros Townsend in relation to alleged breaches of its rules governing misconduct and betting.
‘The Tottenham player has been charged with breaches of Rule E8 (b) in relation to a number of betting offences.’
Townsend, who has been replaced in Pearce’s 23-man squad by Birmingham City’s Nathan Redmond, is now expected to embark on a rehabilitation programme and the FA has vowed to provide assistance.
Their statement added: ‘Townsend has withdrawn himself from the squad after the FA announced charges against him in relation to alleged betting offences.Townsend will receive the full support of the FA and Tottenham in seeking rehabilitation whilst responding to the allegations.’
The FA would not comment any further last night nor would Townsend’s advisers First Artists – they want to hold a meeting with the FA before making any statements.
TOWNSEND THE LOAN STAR
At the age of 21, Townsend has already been on loan at nine clubs. He has played 18 times for Tottenham, scoring three goals.
Clubs: Tottenham 2009-
Yeovil (loan) 2009
Leyton Orient (loan) 2009
MK Dons (loan) 2010
Ipswich (loan) 2010
Watford (loan) 2011
Millwall (loan) 2011
Leeds (loan) 2012
Birmingham (loan) 2012
QPR (loan) 2013
QPR manager Harry Redknapp, however, admitted to being deeply surprised by the nature of the allegations as he had not seen anything to suggest Townsend had such an issue.
‘I just wouldn’t have had him down as a gambler, but you don’t know what goes on when players leave the training ground,’ said Redknapp.
‘If I had been asked to picked 20 footballers who like a bet on the football I wouldn’t have picked him, that’s for sure. ‘I just didn’t think he was like that and I didn’t have any idea he liked a bet on the football.
‘He is a good kid and a talented footballer and I will call him to make sure he’s OK. The main thing is that he didn’t bet on QPR’s matches by the looks of things, but it sounds like he’s got a real problem.’
Townsend won his first Under 21 cap last October in the Euro 2013 play-offs against Serbia.
Southampton full-back Luke Shaw also pulled out of the squad after suffering an injury. He will be replaced by Liverpool’s Jack Robinson.