FA charge sees Townsend withdraw
Tottenham winger Andros Townsend has pulled out of the England Under-21 squad for this summer's European Championship in Israel after being charged by the Football Association with betting offences.
The 21-year-old, who spent time on loan at QPR during their relegation campaign, was replaced in Stuart Pearce's party by Birmingham's Nathan Redmond. It is understood Townsend has not been accused of betting on any matches he played in.
Therefore it is not a match-fixing case, but the FA is taking the alleged breach seriously and has invited Townsend to respond. The FA said in a statement: "The FA has announced it has charged Andros Townsend in relation to alleged breaches of its rules governing misconduct and betting."
It added: "The Tottenham Hotspur player has been charged with breaches of Rule E8 (b) in relation to a number of betting offences. The player has until 3 June to respond to the charges."
The specific rule he is alleged to have broken specifies that players must not bet "either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on" any "result, progress or conduct of a match or competition" in which they participate or have participated in during a season, or in which they have any influence.
For example, a player who appears in the first round of the FA Cup would not be permitted to wager on the outcome of the final.
The rule also forbids players gambling on any other matter involving a competition in which have have participated in during a season - "including, for example and without limitation, the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters".
Players, and all club employees, are deemed by the FA rules to participate in matches involving a club while they are employed by that club, whether they take to the field or not.
The FA, which has given no details of the exact breach in this case, added: "Townsend will receive the full support of the FA and Tottenham Hotspur FC in seeking rehabilitation whilst responding to the allegations."
Townsend is a product of the Tottenham academy who has had loan spells with a host of clubs, including Ipswich, Millwall, Leeds and Birmingham, while attempting to make his mark at White Hart Lane. His representatives declined to comment on the FA charges.