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African All Stars

Ghana defender Djiku suspended for one match over betting offence in France

18:21 SAST 2022/12/20
Alexander Djiku Strasbourg Ligue 1
Ghana defender Alexander Djiku has been handed a one-match ban in France for engaging in sports betting activities.
  • 28-year-old slapped with a one-match ban for betting offences
  • The Strasbourg defender is among 76 people sanctioned in France
  • Djiku will be absent for his side’s visit to PSG when Ligue 1 resumes

WHAT HAPPENED? The Strasbourg defender was among 76 players, coaches and team officials who were cited following an investigation by the Professional Football League (LFP) for their involvement in betting during the 2020-21 season.

WHAT DID THEY SAY? "These offences were committed even though, together, the LFP and the UNFP (the players' union) have carried out awareness or information campaigns with the clubs on a daily basis," wrote the LFP in its press release.

“The Commission recalls that the actors of the competitions organised by the FFF or the LFP (in particular the players, coaches, managers of professional football clubs) have a general ban on betting, online or in physical networks, on all football competitions, whether domestic or foreign.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Players and football officials are prohibited from betting on any matches and the ban, even though short, is a stain on the Black Stars defender who was part of Ghana’s squad at the 2022 World Cup.

Born in France, the 28-year-old opted to represent Ghana, making his Black Stars debut in October 2020 and has earned 20 caps since, while scoring one goal.

Djiku began his club career at Bastia in 2012, playing for the youth team for four years before joining the senior side in 2016 and then moved to Caen in 2017. He lasted two years at the Normandy-based club before switching to Strasbourg in 2019 where he has become a regular, making 110 appearances in all competitions, including 14 in 2022-23.

WHAT’S MORE? Cameroon defender Jean-Charles Castelletto is among the players sanctioned and the Nantes centre-back will serve a four-match suspension.

Castelletto featured for the Indomitable Lions at the 2022 World Cup and played 90 minutes in their first two games against Switzerland and Serbia, scoring in the 3-3 thriller against the latter.

WHAT’S NEXT? Djiku will miss Strasbourg’s match away to champions Paris Saint-Germain when the French league resumes on December 28.