A 'heartbroken' Andros Townsend admits he must learn from his 'mistake' following his four month ban for breaching betting regulations.
The Tottenham winger was found to be guilty of breaching "Rule E8 (b) in relation to a number of betting offences" and was handed a sentence that was in part – three months - suspended until July 2016.
The suspended sentence is both a blessing and a curse for the 21-year-old - free to start the new Premier League season, but his 'dream' of playing at the European Under-21 Championship was ended before it even began.
"When I spoke to the FA I was fully regretful and was ready to accept the deserved punishment," he told the Sun.
"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."
On the European Under-21 Championship, Townsend added: "I was heartbroken."
"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."