Tough rules are set to be introduced by the English Football Association to outlaw any football related betting of clubs, players, match officials and football employees in the top level of England’s most viewed sport.
The somewhat draconian rules will state that any form of betting, be it domestic or international will not be permitted beginning of the next 2014/15 season. It doesn’t end there; off-field betting such as on player transfers and managerial sackings will also be prohibited.
This crackdown applies to all forms of betting, whether bets are made online, over the telephone, in person, through a friend or any other third party. The FA clearly asserts on its website all the rules as well as a video detailing the tightening of any form of football gambling.
Previously, placing bets on matches or competitions where an individual could influence or was involved was prohibited. The same restriction will not be overturned for minor league teams, those in division one and beyond.
Earlier on this year, Alex Horne, FA’s general secretary said spot-fixing and match fixing were not really big issues in English football, despite many arrests being made as part of on-going National Crime Agency investigations. However with a huge increase of online betting websites, which allow punters to place bets on a wide range of football related markets, and the steady rise of match fixing incidents across the globe, the FA is intensifying its noose around betting.
The issue has gone so far that it was even turned to Simone Farina, now Aston Villa’s academy coach and former Italian player to help spread the message across.
Farina was very influential in impeding a match fixing attempt when he played for Gubbio, a Serie B team – his evidence and testimony led to 17 incarcerations.
“Footballers need to be strong and refuse match-fixing attempts,” Farina said in a video statement on the FA’s website. He reported the matter to Italian police after declining a 200,000 euro offer to fix a match.
Farina also went on to say “The FA is working very hard to educate children, footballers, coaches and referees. It’s everyone’s responsibility to play fair.” Last season, a number of arrests and prosecutions were made relating to match fixing in the English semi-pro league. Tottenham Hotspur and England winger Andros Townsend was slapped with a four month ban, with three being suspended, after he betted on live televised matches whilst on loan two seasons ago.
In his defense the player said, he was bored and the TV kept showing ads that promoted bets on the matches he was watching. Out of ignorance he placed a bet thinking nothing was wrong just as long as he wasn’t betting on his club. He went on to download the app onto his phone and placing small wagers to make the games more interesting.
Horne has gone on to say the new rules and regulations will evade any gray areas.
He said in an interview statement that the message was clear and simple to all. “A footballer cannot place bets on football matches, it’s against football ethics.”
These changes in football legislation come in line with the British government’s increasing hostility toward betting shops, online gambling and other forms of gambling systems. The government aims to increase taxation for both off and online gambling in efforts to discourage and deter gambling.
FA’s football Director of Governance, Darren Bailey said “The Football Association regularly evaluates rules and regulations in the game to ensure they are in accordance with the needs of modern football. The betting rules are to cover every aspect of football, and provide a simple message that the line is drawn, those found on the other side will be dealt with.
“It is important to stress that the rules form only one part of the overall framework for the regulation of betting and maintaining the integrity of the English game. In addition to the monitoring of betting markets throughout the world, education remains a key part of our work.
“Building on previous education programmes, we will continue to communicate to all levels of the game not only the Rules on betting, but also the restrictions in place on the use of inside information and the reporting obligations on Participants. In doing so, we will further stress the collective responsibility that all those involved in football have in upholding the integrity of football in England and beyond.”
The Regulatory Authority was founded by the FA Council to perform disciplinary, rule-making and regulatory functions to football played on English soil in line with laws of the game.
The Football Association is made up of different representatives of the game, including the Football League, County FAs, Premier League, associations and affiliated leagues, referees, clubs, supporters and other independent members.