The England national soccer team was without right-back Kieran Tripper as it took to the field for a Nation’s League Cup against Denmark on Wednesday. The Atletico Madrid player was attending a disciplinary hearing for breaking gambling rules.
Trippier was a key figure in England’s run to the semifinals of the last World Cup. He has been charged with several alleged breaches of Football Association (FA) rules during July 2019.
This was the same month as his £20 million move from Tottenham Hotspur to Atletico, leading to speculation that the infractions are linked to insider information on the transfer market.
Former England international Daniel Sturridge was charged with the same rule violation in 2018 and was later found guilty of providing his brother with inside information on a transfer move from Liverpool to Sevilla in January of that year. He was handed a four-month worldwide ban from participating in all soccer-related activities.
Team Left Without Key Player
In a statement in May, Tripper said he was complying fully with the FA and would continue to do so.
I want to make it clear that while a professional footballer I have at no stage placed any football-related bets or received any financial benefit from others betting,” he added.
England coach Gareth Southgate could have used Tripper’s services on Wednesday, as the team fell to a surprising defeat 0-1 in London, after having a man sent off.
The 29-year-old would almost certainly have been used in the left-wingback position against Denmark, where he excelled in the win against Belgium last week. Instead, his replacement, Kyle Walker, conceded the penalty that led to the only goal of the game.
Team’s Other Disciplinary Problems
Southgate’s team picks have been further depleted by disciplinary problems on and off the field. Last month, Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden and Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood was sent home prior to England’s game against Iceland for breaking coronavirus social distancing rules.
“There is not a lot I can say about it really, it is not something which is in my control,” Southgate said Wednesday. “If I lose focus on the job in hand – there are a million distractions, frankly – so this is another distraction, but it is something I have got to plow on through.
“We haven’t got him … I spoke with Kieran last week and the situation is what it is,” Southgate continued. “We’d have liked to have had Kieran available, we haven’t, so this is an opportunity for somebody else. The less I say the better. But what is clear is I don’t have any influence on disciplinary procedure, which I think is correct. I can’t be influencing when things happen or how they play out.”