Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend has revealed his regret over the ban that has led to him missing out on a place in the England Under-21 squad for this summer’s European Championships, the
Townsend was banned for four months by the Football Association, three of which were suspended, after being found to have gambled on matches in competitions that his parent club, Tottenham, or clubs he had been on loan at, where part of. Townsend was not found to have gambled on matches he played in but the FA’s regulations of gambling are wide and the 21-year-old contravened them.
The newspaper adds that Townsend did not know he had done anything wrong until he was informed by a bookmaker and reported to the governing body – and he accepted his punishment without complaint.
“When I spoke to the FA I was fully regretful and was ready to accept the deserved punishment,” he said. “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.
“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 party that travelled to Israel for the tournament under Stuart Pearce, despite having targeted a place in the competition as one of his aims for the season, and it being his last chance to play for the international youth team.
“I was heartbroken,” he said. “It was one of my top aims for the season – to be on the plane to Israel. Some people may think I’ve got off lightly but I’ve missed one of the world’s biggest tournaments. I was fully excited to be part of it.
“It was my last chance to play for the Under-21s too and I’ll never be able to get that back. It’ll always serve as a permanent reminder of my stupid actions.”
Townsend ended the season on loan at Queens Park Rangers but could not prevent Harry Redknapp’s side dropping out of the Premier League. In his absence, England began their campaign with a defeat to Italy and currently sit bottom of Group A.
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