Posted on: January 6, 2021, 01:29h.
Last updated on: January 6, 2021, 01:29h.
England soccer star Kieran Trippier urged friends to bet big on his 2019 transfer to Spanish giants Atlético Madrid before it was officially announced.
Details of WhatsApp conversations in which Trippier leaked the inside information were published in a report by the English Football Association (FA) on Tuesday. It came as Atlético tried to appeal the December 26 FA ruling that saw Trippier banned from soccer for 10 weeks for breaching betting rules.
Soccer’s international governing body FIFA put the ban on hold earlier this week, pending the La Liga team’s appeal. Trippier has previously argued his innocence and denied he had ever profited from betting, claiming innocent conversations with friends had been misinterpreted.
Like It or Lump It
Trippier completed the £20 million ($27 million) move from Tottenham Hotspur to Atlético on July 17, 2019. Two days earlier, according to the FA report, his friend Matthew Brady asked Trippier whether he should “lump” money on the move, using a slang phrase meaning to bet big.
“Can do, mate,” Trippier replied.
“100 percent, Tripps?” Brady asked.
“Yeah, mate,” said Tripper. “Don’t blame me if something goes wrong … It shouldn’t but just letting you no (sic). Lump on if you want, mate.”
A day later, on the eve the actual transfer, Trippier told the WhatsApp group: “It’s happening,” causing other friends to place bets.
According to the FA, the conversation is incriminating and cannot be dismissed as mere “banter.”
“There is nothing about the words used by the men which is consistent with banter as that word is normally understood,” concluded the report. “The purpose of the messaging is quite clear. MB was seeking reassurance that he should bet heavily on KT’s transfer to Atlético; KT provided such reassurance.
In those circumstances, it seems to us that we have no option but to conclude that KT knew that MB would bet upon the transfer and, accordingly, the regulatory defense must fail.”
In all, Trippier was found guilty of four breaches of FA Rule E8(1)(b), which states that anyone involved in soccer must not bet “either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on … any matter concerning or related to football anywhere in the world, including, for example and without limitation, the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters.”
Former England striker Daniel Sturridge was banned for four months earlier in the year for breaking the same rule. He was found to have given information to his brother about his proposed 2018 transfer from Liverpool to Sevilla, which was used for betting purposes, despite the move never materializing.