Tottenham winger Andros Townsend reveals 'heartbreak' at missing European Under-21 Championships following breach of betting regulations
The Spurs player pulled out after being charged by the FA
Friday 07 June 2013
Andros Townsend is “heartbroken” to be missing the European Under-21 Championship but concedes his punishment for breaching betting regulations is fully deserved.
The 21-year-old Tottenham winger was not accused of betting on matches in which he had any involvement, but because of strict Football Association rules that forbid gambling on a wide spectrum of games he was banned for four months, three of which were suspended.
Townsend was unaware he was prohibited from betting on games in any competition that Spurs, or the clubs at which he had played on loan - Leeds and Birmingham - were involved in that season until he was informed by a bookmaker that he was being reported to the FA.
"When I spoke to the FA I was fully regretful and was ready to accept the deserved punishment," he told the Sun. "Speaking honestly, there was never anything sinister going on.
"There was no match-fixing, no betting on my team to lose, no inside information and I certainly never bet on Arsenal to finish higher than Spurs, as suggested by people on Twitter."
He added: "There is a stain on my reputation, and deservedly so, which means I now must show everyone it was a mistake and I've learned from it."
Townsend withdrew voluntarily from the England Under-21 squad for the European Championship in Israel but admitted he was "heartbroken" at having to do so having targeted a place in the squad.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea victory parade mocked on Twitter as 'tens of fans' pack the streets of London
Preston fan who appeared to snatch Jermaine Beckford's shirt from eight-year-old boy identified and says: 'the truth will come out'
Young Preston fan has play-off hero Jermaine Beckford's shirt stolen from him at Wembley - which then appears for sale on Gumtree
After a 25-year wait, should Liverpool still consider themselves title contenders?
Chelsea victory parade: Fans chuck celery at Sky News presenter ahead of champion's parade through London
- 2 Wikipedia edits from inside Parliament removing scandals from MPs' pages, investigation finds
- 4 Johnny Depp facing 10 years in jail for illegally bringing dogs to Australia
- 5 Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'