Only last week we saw Newcastle midfielder Dan Gosling indicted and charged for improper conduct in betting on matches that he was playing in.
Gosling is certainly not the first to be caught and charged for betting related misconduct, with Premier League regulars Andros Townsend and Cameron Jerome also fined for breaching betting regulations. But, as with the majority of football related fines, the money demanded is not going to deter future rule breakers, as it is often a poultry sum that has no impact on a high earning professional footballer.
These meagre fines aren’t just in place on players though, as proved by the case of former Accrington Stanley director of football Robert Heys. He was suspended from football for 21 months and handed a £1,000 fine. To most of us that sounds like a large sum of money, but for two reasons it really isn’t to Heys.
Firstly, he was obviously well off if he was able to gamble as much as he did, and secondly, the £1,000 fine related to a ridiculous 735 breaches of FA regulations, meaning that Heys was charged just £1.36 for every infringement of the laws. This scant amount of money will not act as a deterrent for others. It will barely act as a deterrent for Heys himself. Surely the governing bodies of sports need to sort out substantial fines and repercussions for those who so scandalously breach legal and moral rules.
And, in the last few days the Indian Premier League and Indian Cricket in general has been thrown into turmoil after allegations of spot fixing and bribery. Narayanaswami Srinivasan, soon to be the head of the world governing body for cricket, the ICC, has been forced to step down from his role as head of the BCCI to allow a fair corruption trial to take place.
Srinivasan, who owns the Chennai Super Kings IPL team has been under a cloud since his son in law was arrested on allegations of illegal betting on IPL games.
In a sport that has faced lots of struggles with spot fixing and corruption in recent years, the last thing that cricket needs is the biggest global cricket brand, the IPL, to be indicted for illicit goings on and misdemeanours.
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