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 By PA Sport
Aug 1, 2014

FA bans players from gambling

Alex Horne believes the new rules will remove grey areas.

Football Association general secretary Alex Horne says the total ban on any gambling on football by players or coaches will help the fight against match-fixing.

Players, managers, club employees and match officials are now not allowed to place any bet on any football-related matter worldwide.

Horne says the ban will remove any grey areas surrounding betting on football -- previously players were only banned from betting on a competition with which their club was involved.

Last season saw a number of arrests and prosecutions for match-fixing related offences in semi-professional English football, and Horne believes the new rules will target that threat.

Horne told Press Association Sport: "We are really proud of the integrity of the game in this country and it is really important that people trust the integrity of what is happening on the pitch.

"There have been some cases and prosecutions [for match-fixing] in this country and we don't want to see it. We want to keep our message as simple as possible -- and it cannot be more simple that as a player you cannot bet at all on football."

The ban also covers events such as manager appointments and player transfers, and applies to all forms of betting, and players are not allowed to instruct anyone else to place any bet on their behalf.

It will cover the top eight tiers of English football, going down to the Isthmian League.

A new educational drive will see new videos being produced to drive home the message. These include one from the former Italian player and now Aston Villa academy coach Simone Farina, who won a FIFA award after he called in the police in 2011 after being offered 200,000 euros to influence the outcome of a Coppa Italia game that his club at the time, Gubbio 1910, was involved in.

Other videos include one making clear that it is also banned to pass on inside information, such as on injuries or transfers, to other people including family or friends.

The videos will be distributed to players and clubs by the Professional Footballers' Association, and will also be shown to managers and club captains at preseason briefings.

The FA also believes the betting ban will be so easy to understand that it will cut out any incidents of players being sanctioned for unwittingly breaching rules.

Tottenham's England winger Andros Townsend was suspended for a month in 2013 for breaching the rules about betting on a competition with which he was involved, and missed the England under-21 championship in Israel.

Darren Bailey, the FA's director of football governance and regulation, added: "This betting rule change to encompass all aspects of world football provides a simple, clear and straightforward message to all participants concerned, on where the line is drawn."

ends

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