Match-fixing in football isn’t exactly a new occurrence.
But the accusations levied by the Scottish Football Association is particularly perplexing because the finger-pointing is aimed at one of its own players.
Ian Black, a midfielder of the Glasgow Rangers is being accused of betting against his own team on several occasions in the past a seven years, a damning allegation that could end with a professional ban for the 28-year old midfielder if he is found guilty of the allegations being thrown his way.
According to Scottish sports TV station STV, Black has been accused of putting money on his team not to win matches between March 4, 2006 and July 28, 2013. The association specifically mentioned three occasions of this happening, on top of 10 other games he bet on that his teams were involved in and 147 more games not involving him or his team.
The association is pointing to Disciplinary Rule 22 of its rule book, or Rule 33 in updated Judicial Panel Protocol for season 2013/14, which says that “No club, official, Team Official or other member of Team Staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall bet in any way on a football match (except authorized and registered football pools)”.
Despite these accusations, the Scottish FA also went on record saying that there is no evidence that Black acted to determine the outcome of these games to favor his wages. That’s the good news. The bad news is Black is still far from getting off the hook where he has until August 26 to respond to the charges. A principal hearing date has likewise been set for September 12, something Black has been requested to attend in an effort to sort out these accusations.
Should he be found guilty, expect a hefty punishment to come down from the Scottish FA. A fine is all but expected – reports range it from anywhere between £500 and £1,000,00 – but don’t be surprised if Black is suspended or worse, completely kicked out from playing professional football altogether.