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
Kevin Garside: Manchester United may have history and tradition but, as David Moyes never realised, a big-time manager always bends such things to his will
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton disobeys orders and closes gap to Nico Rosberg in title race
Manchester United latest: Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing Angel Di Maria fails to improve
Arsenal: Arrival of Calum Chambers and David Ospina puts Arsène Wenger's spending past £50m
Tour de France 2014: Vincenzo Nibali confirmed as champion as he puts Italy back on the map with triumph
- 1 Secret Cinema interview: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop