10th January 2019, 18:14
The GFA continues an investigation into the breach of its betting regulations, following bans given to 4 Europa FC players, which ranged between nine months and seven years. This is in addition to the two bans given last November to an ex-Lincoln coach and a 5th Europa FC player; GBC understands that more than 30 players are still under investigation.
The GFA will not comment any further on the nature of the infringements in any individual cases until the investigation is concluded, although there is not yet a clear indication of when this might be.
According to the GFA’s regulations, betting on any football match in any league is against the rules, with the association recently announcing a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to the issue.
It is unclear whether any of the breaches are connected to each other, but the significant difference in length between the bans given out so far suggests varying degrees of infringement.
In one high profile case, Joey Barton - at the time a premier league player with Burnley - was given an 18-month ban, after being found guilty of placing 1,260 football-related bets over the course of ten years. Although he had placed bets on his own team, he had never bet against his team when he was playing.
On the other hand, ex-Lincoln City player, Bradley Wood, was last year given a six-year ban when seven people, including two close friends, placed large bets on Wood getting yellow cards in two fa cup games, which he did.
Intentionally affecting a game in this way is considered a match-fixing offence and treated far more seriously, Wood received five years for this violation, with a further year added for 22 charges of betting on the outcome of other matches.