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Grant welcomes FA move

11 Mar 2014 17:16:59

Grant welcomes FA move

Sports minister Helen Grant has welcomed a move by the Football Association to consider a complete ban on players and club employees betting on matches.

FA chairman Greg Dyke has revealed the governing body is reviewing its policy on gambling - an outright ban already exists in Scottish football.

Helen Grant, the sports minister who is also in charge of gambling, said the government would support any change to promote integrity in sport.

She said: "While this is a decision for the Football Association I am pleased that Greg Dyke is considering such a move.

"We have had good constructive meetings with the big sports governing bodies on the issue of betting integrity and match-fixing earlier this year. We would support any move that further helps uphold the integrity of sport."

It comes just a day after the Newcastle midfielder Dan Gosling admitted an FA misconduct charge for breaching betting rules, which forbid players to bet on any competition that their club is involved in.

Tottenham winger Andros Townsend and Stoke forward Cameron Jerome, currently on loan at Crystal Palace, have both previously been sanctioned and fined for rule breaches.

Dyke told BBC Late Kick Off North West: "No final decision has been made, but it [a complete ban] is one of the things that's being discussed.

"The FA is looking again at the whole of betting and who should be allowed to bet on football in the football industry. In the next few weeks, we'll come out with a policy."

Dyke added: "I think recent events, though, have suggested to us that we need to take it very seriously and that's what we're doing.

"We've got to take it more seriously and do a bigger education programme among players and the rest of the staff in football."

Players in Scotland are prohibited from betting on any football match, and Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan stated in September there was no intention of relaxing the strict rules that he believes are the envy of other associations.

The FA's rule E8b states that a player "shall not bet, either directly or indirectly" on matches involving themselves or their team as well as the competition they play in or have played in.

There have been a number of cases of rule breaches however and supporters of a complete ban believe that would make it crystal clear to players and club officials that they cannot bet on matches.

Other cases involved Tranmere manager Ronnie Moore, who was suspended by the League One club last month pending an FA investigation.

Last year Accrington Stanley's managing director Robert Heys was banned for 21 months after admitting 735 breaches - including 231 bets on the outcome of matches involving his own club. He was unsuccessful with an appeal and afterwards stepped down from his position.


PA

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