Football Marred By Insider Trading Allegations and Increase in Problem Gambling

Kieran Trippier

Kieran Trippier (Кирилл Венедиктов / CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL)

Following an assured showing in England’s 2-1 win over Belgium in the UEFA Nations League, Kieran Trippier presumably assumed he would be a shoe-in for selection for the game against Denmark on Wednesday.

However, the full back was forced to withdraw from the squad after instead being made to attend a Football Association inquiry into alleged betting breaches.

It should be noted that Trippier is not being questioned for his own betting activities, however the FA want to look into what they consider to be fishy goings on surrounding the 30-year-old’s transfer from Tottenham to Atletico Madrid in July 2019.

Insider Trading

Insider Trading

The Football Association has confirmed that Tripper ‘has been charged with misconduct in relation to alleged breaches of the FA’s betting rules, specifically in relation to Rule E8(1)(a)(ii) and Rule E8(1)(b), during the period of July 2019.’

For those with an inquisitive mind or seeking a cure for insomnia, you can view the full FA rulebook online. Rules E8(1)(a)(ii) and E8(1)(b) are as follows: “A participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on (i) the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in or in connection with, a football match or competition; or (ii) any other matter concerning or related to football anywhere in the world, including, for example and without limitation, the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters.”

The Daily Mail is reporting that Trippier might have shared inside information with friends regarding his upcoming move on WhatsApp, and that would be a breach of the ‘transfer of players’ regulation outlined above.

He denies all of the charges, stating: “I have fully complied with the FA’s investigation over the past several months on a voluntary basis and will continue to do so.

“I want to make it clear that while a professional footballer I have at no stage placed any football related bets or received any financial benefit from others betting.”

The concern for Trippier is that the FA takes a dim view on such matters, as Daniel Sturridge found out to his cost in 2019.

He was charged with similar breaches of dealing inside information to his brother ahead of a proposed switch from Liverpool to Sevilla, and for that he was banned from football for four months – the FA does have the scope to ban anyone who breaks Rules E8(1)(a)(ii) and E8(1)(b) for as long as six months.

Gambling Overtakes Drink and Drugs as Football’s Main Evil

Stop Gambling

On the pitch Tony Adams was one of the classiest, most stylish defenders that England has ever produced.

But off it, he had a number of demons and was a self-confessed alcoholic and drug taker, and that resulted in a number of high profile incidents.

Later in life Adams decided to help set up the Sporting Chance clinic, which was designed to assist professional sportsmen and women in tackling their addictions.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Adams confirmed that more than 60% of cases referred to Sporting Chance are now gambling related, which is a huge change from the 1990s and 2000s when alcohol and drug abuse were still the most common pitfalls for athletes.

“Gambling has been an issue even stretching back to my playing days,” Adams said. “But it seems to be the biggest issue now, more than alcohol.”

The connection betting and football, in particular, continues to come under scrutiny, with 75% of Premier League clubs and more than 85% of Championship outfits now sponsored by gambling operators.

Adams’ business partner and the chief executive of Sporting Chance, Colin Bland, says that sport’s connection to betting has reached a ‘pivotal point’, and called for governmental reform to protect the users of his service and the wider community from the harm of problem gambling.

Bland wants to see gambling firms helping to fund welfare treatment from their profits, and commented: “It is apparent that many people within professional sport are uncomfortable with the level at which the gambling industry has managed to embed itself in the fabric of their beloved sports.”

The UK government is expected to make changes to betting law as part of the review of the Gambling Act 2005, and those are expected to come into force later this year.