Despite calls for a more relaxed stance on its anti-gambling rules in light of Rangers midfield Ian Black’s recent suspension the Scottish Football Association is holding firm on its intention to keep the rule as is.
The rules explicitly says that no player in Scotland is allowed to bet on any football match, regardless on whether they’re playing in said game or they’re betting merely as spectators. Calls to change it to make players more aware of the rule reached some momentum after Black was implicated in betting on matches he played on, but those calls are falling on Scottish FA chief Stewart Regan’s deaf ears.
“At the moment, there are no plans to change our processes and, indeed, we are sharing our definitions with other associations,” Regan said, as quoted by the BBC.
Regan argues that the the Scottish FA’s rules on the issue are straight-forward and not valid to any sort of interpretation. Don’t bet on games, plain and simple. If you’re caught doing so, you will be punished to the full extent of the rule.
The SFA boss went on to say that the association’s anti-gambling rules are the envy of other associations, a lot of whom are embroiled in their own cases of players gambling on football matches, or worse, fixing matches that they’re involved in. Relaxing these rules, Regan argues, would only lead to more complications than necessary and could undermine the Scottish FA’s power in doling out punishments to future offenders.
“Why open yourselves up to further dangers by relaxing the rules we have in place?”
Whereas other associations are dealing with controversies like this on a seemingly regular basis, Regan believes that the Scottish FA’s straight-to-the-point rule on anti-gambling will have a resounding effect on players playing in Scotland. Black and Rangers manager Ally McCoist have alleged that a lot of other players and officials are also into gambling, although both stopped short of actually disclosing any names.
Still, the Scottish FA remains steadfast that if anybody playing in Scotland gets caught, it will be dealt with swiftly and without any wiggling around.