Daniel Sturridge has been suspended from football for six weeks and fined £75,000 by an independent commission for a breach of betting rules.
Free agent Sturridge, 29, would still be available for the start of the Premier League season on August 9 (assuming he finds a club) as four of the weeks are suspended until 2020, per The Times' Paul Joyce. However, the Football Association are hoping to extend his suspension:
The striker is without a club after his Liverpool contract expired at the beginning of July. Sturridge was charged with breaching the FA's rules on betting in November in relation to rules breaches committed in January 2018, per the Telegraph's Chris Bascombe.
The FA released a statement explaining its decision to appeal against the regulatory commission for a harsher punishment.
Sturridge is said to have tipped his brother, Leon, to place a bet on him joining La Liga outfit Sevilla during the winter of 2018, when he eventually joined West Bromwich Albion on loan:
Journalist Simon Collings provided more from the FA's reaction, which outlined the length of suspension it would consider fair:
Though currently without a club, the former England international could feasibly still register for any club, play a pre-season fixture or two and still be ready to begin most European domestic seasons. As things stand, Sturridge would not miss a competitive fixture.
The forward's pre-season preparations were recently stunted after Sturridge's dog was stolen from his home in Los Angeles. The theft received widespread attention, and the dog's safe return was reported on Good Morning America:
Sturridge joined the Reds in 2013 and scored 68 goals in 160 appearances for Liverpool, but he was hampered by recurring injuries and made just 16 Premier League starts for the Reds over the last three seasons.
Should his ban be extended, Sturridge may see immediate interest from clubs dwindle until he is available to play again.