Ayr United striker Michael Moffat finally got a reprieve from his gambling ban after the Scottish Football Association decided to cut its current suspension by two games, leaving the 30-year old striker with a four-match ban.
While it still doesn’t fit the crime he committed – he should have been let off with a warning in our minds – it’s still a little better than the initial suspension that was meted down by the SFA.
Moffat, after all, didn’t attempt to fix any matches that he bet on; on the contrary, him betting on his team to win those games only served as more incentive for him to play even better. It’s certainly much more defensible than what Rangers midfielder Ian Black admitted to doing when he confessed to having bet on 160 matches over a seven-year period, including multiple occasions when he bet against his own team.
Black received a 10-match ban for that to go with a measly fine, but Moffat’s case is different because he didn’t try to influence the results of the matches he bet on to favor the other team.
Ayr United chairman Lachlan Cameron lambasted the SFA’s initial six-match suspension, calling it “grossly unfair” while also lambasting the “inconsistencies in the decision-making process”. Well, Cameron got what he wanted, to a certain degree. Moffat will still be forced to sit out four matches against Rangers, Dunfermline, Airdrieonians and Forfar, beginning with Ayr United’s home tilt against the league leaders this weekend.
In the end, four matches is a little better than six and with the league entering a pivotal stage in the season and Ayr United still squarely in the hunt for promotion to the Scottish Championship, having the league’s top goal scorer in the mix for the stretch run can’t be understated the least bit.