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The Football Association has been criticized for creating exceptional rules that allow football club owners to bet but ban players from betting on any football match anywhere in the world. More surprising is that many football players are struggling with gambling addiction while their bosses are making a fortune each and every day.
The temptation for players to bet is high since most football clubs are sponsored by top gambling brands in the iGaming industry. Recently, Cardiff City’s Michael Chopra shared his private struggle with gambling addiction. Other top football players who have come out with their gambling struggles include Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Paul Merson, Peter Shilton, Andros Townsend, and Dietmar Hamann.
Many top players, like Ivan Toney, have been banned by the FA after they were found guilty of spending hundreds of dollars on betting. The worst thing for Toney is that we even placed bets on his own team. He has a heavy task of rebuilding his public image to save his career, which is at risk of ending.
Lucas Paquetá is also being investigated by the FA in relation to his suspected betting activities. While the exact nature of the allegation is unknown, he may be banned if found guilty.
The rules that forbid players from betting on any football match were introduced by the FA during the 2014/15 season and have since been criticized for favoring football club proprietors.
The FA admitted that they were aware that some football club owners were actively participating in betting. Some of the mentioned football owners and clubs are the Coates family of Stoke City and Bet365, Tony Bloom of Brighton FC, and Matthew Benham of Brentford FC.
Nonetheless, the FA defended the participants stating that they are bound by an exceptional policy. Each participant must comply with certain terms and conditions. Although the FA does not disclose the policy details, one of the key conditions may be that participants must not have any direct involvement in the setting of odds, determining markets, or the selection of individual bets on football.
So far, football club owners who have complied with the yet-to-be-published rule are Benham and Bloom. We’re certain that more clubs will follow the trend soon. I hope the plea from the players will be considered.