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Former Manchester City player Joey Barton urges FA to revise betting rules

Fri, Nov 16, 11:06am by Staff Writer

Former Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton has urged the Football Association to alter their “zero tolerance” approach to gambling in football after Liverpool forward was charged with breaching betting rules.

Barton served a 13-month ban for betting offences while he was playing for Burnley and believes gambling is ingrained in English football culture.

“They have to revise their approach,” Barton told Sky Sports.

“There’s a lot of people who have vested interest in promoting and advertising gambling, I don’t think it’s a problem with that.

“I just think it’s a problem when we ban something that is clearly a massive part of our game and then we start banning players for it.”

FA rules prohibit players and coaches from betting on any football activity or providing non-public information to any other person that is then used for betting.

“I’m not saying we should allow betting on games because that would hurt the integrity of the sport but I think we need to be a but more 21st century about our approach,” he said.

The time of Sturridge’s alleged breach dates back to January this year when he was loaned to West Bromwich Albion from Liverpool.

He failed to score in six uneventful appearances at the Hawthorns.

Sturridge has until Thursday evening (UK time) to provide a response to the allegations.

Tim Simona banned for betting on NRL games

Sportsmen in some of Australia’s biggest sports have not been exempt from the lure of gambling.

Former Wests Tigers player Tim Simona was deregistered by the National Rugby League after admitting to breaching NRL player rules by betting on matches, including against his own team.

His spiraling gambling losses at pubs and clubs around Sydney led to him asking his then girlfriend Jaya Taki to set up a betting account in her name and placed 65 bets on NRL matches, with several involving the Wests Tigers.

Simona denied any type of match fixing and insisted his teammates know that he never gave less than 100 per cent whenever he played.

In the aftermath, Simona described his actions as “so dumb and so stupid. Importantly the players know I’d never be involved in match-fixing.”

Heath Shaw handed a high-profile suspension

Collingwood premiership defender Heath Shaw was suspended for eight games in 2011 for breaching the AFL’s strict anti-gambling code.

Shaw bet on then Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell to kick the first goal a round nine match against Adelaide at Docklands.

Shaw was suspended for a total of 14 games, with six suspended and fined $20,000.

Maxwell was fined a total of $10,000 with half suspended, after family members made the same bets.

AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson announced that Shaw shared $10 with a friend in a $20 bet for Maxwell to kick the first goal of the match at 101-1.

John McCarthy kicked the first goal of the game.

“As a result of our routine checks and liaison with bookmakers, we became aware there had been a plunge on Nick Maxwell and he had come in from 101 to 25-1,” Anderson said.

Collingwood midfielder Jack Crisp escaped ban for placing bets totaling $129 on AFL markets while at the Brisbane Lions in 2014.

The AFL fined Crisp $5,000 but he escaped a ban due to his co-operation with the investigation and didn’t miss any games.

Crisp’s case was deemed the most serious of the annual audit of players, coaches and officials in 2015.

Chief executive stance is one of balance

In 2016 the AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan was adamant that prohibition is not the answer to preventing players from engaging in the recreation.

A number of AFL clubs are sponsored by bookmakers and until recently odds were displayed on big screens at AFL matches.

McLachlan stressed the importance of balance on issues such as gambling advertising at matches in 2016.

He said the AFL had worked with TV broadcasters to ensure no live odds were shown in play.

“I have a view that is not universal around the AFL…that things that are legal and part of our game, our job is then to contextualize that.”

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