The Football Association has proposed that from next season any player in league football and the top four tiers of the non-league system will be banned from betting, either directly or indirectly, on any football match or competition anywhere in the world.
The changes to FA Rules from the start of the 2014-15 season would also see a worldwide prohibition on betting on any other football-related matter, for example, the transfer of players, employment of managers or team selection. The passing of inside information to somebody that uses the information for betting remains prohibited.
Having received a unanimous recommendation by The FA Council on Wednesday and The Football Regulatory Authority in March, the Betting Rule changes would need to be agreed by FA shareholders at their AGM on 21 May before coming into force.
The proposal follows consultation with the Premier League, Football League, Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers’ Association and Football Conference.
Currently, FA Rules state that no participant can bet on a match or competition in which they are involved that season, or which they can influence, or any other football-related matter concerning the league that they play in. They are also prohibited from using or passing inside information for betting. The proposed rule changes would see these prohibitions retained for Participants below Step 4 of the National League System.
Darren Bailey, The FA’s Director of Football Governance and Regulation, said: “The FA constantly evaluates its rules and regulations to ensure that they meet the needs of the modern game. The proposed betting rule adjustment to encompass all aspects of world football provides a simple and straightforward message to all participants on where the line is drawn.
“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.”
Established by The FA Council, The Football Regulatory Authority performs the regulatory, disciplinary and rule-making functions in relation to football played in England in accordance with the Laws of the Game. The FA Council is made up of representatives from across the game, including the Premier League, Football League, County FAs, affiliated leagues and associations, clubs, referees, supporters, inclusion bodies and independent members.
The extended ban has been pushed after numerous breaches of the current betting rules clearly in the hope that simplifying the rules with a blanket ban will get the message across to the sport’s participants. The latest to breach the rules was Tranmere Rovers manager Ronnie Moore, who has subsequently been sacked for his actions.
The FA’s rules on betting will be one of the items discussed at the Betting on Football Conference session Rules of the game – being vigilant on the potential for bringing the game into disrepute. The conference, being held at Stamford Bridge on 8 May, aims to discuss all the commercial, legal and ethical issues surrounding gambling and football.