Owen admits to gambling

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

England and Liverpool striker Michael Owen admitted to "occasional" gambling but said his losses were nowhere near the millions reported.

Owen admits to gambling
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London:

England and Liverpool striker Michael Owen admitted to "occasional" gambling but said his losses were nowhere near the millions reported. The Sunday Mirror newspaper claimed Owen had spent $3.52 million betting on horse racing and soccer over the past three years. Those bets, allegedly using accounts registered in his father's name, included Manchester United to win games in Europe and Chelsea to win in the Premier League. There was no suggestion Owen bet on matches involving Liverpool or England.A spokesman for Owen said part of the Sunday Mirror article was correct. "Michael's father Terry has confirmed that he opened an offshore betting account two or three years ago and has also used this to place bets for friends and family, occasionally including Michael," the spokesman said. "Michael's gambling losses probably total around $48,000 to $64,000 over the last couple of years. Although the sums represent a tiny percentage of his earnings, Michael and his family know how important even 100 pounds is to a normal household," he added. Gambling game Player gambling has been in the news this week following claims by former Ireland striker Tony Cascarino, Manchester United star Ruud van Nistelrooy and Chelsea's Iceland international forward Eidur Gudjohnsen that players lose thousands of pounds in card games. Owen, 23, has also denied allegations this week that he lost $48,000 on cards during last year's World Cup. "I have done nothing wrong and I can't understand why people should think I have," Owen was quoted as saying in the News of the World newspaper. "I can't believe some of the hurtful allegations that have been thrown at me, especially as they are so obviously inaccurate. I would never deliberately do anything to embarrass my club, my country, my family and myself. I would never encourage anyone to gamble." However Owen said the publicity would not stop his love for horse racing, as it was his main hobby outside soccer. The England Football Association said Owen would not face any investigation. (AP)

Topics : Football
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