News: Pressure mounts on FFA to end state league soccer betting

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Updated: July 31, 2016

Welcome to The Outside Word, where we examine news and issues relating to the wagering industry featured in the mainstream media, along with goings-on in the local and international racing and sports betting world.

 

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Take a look at your run-of-the-mill Australian-based sports betting website and you’ll find markets available on a vast array of events that could best be described as semi-professional. Yep, you can bet on second- and third-tier state league competitions in Australian football, rugby league, basketball and soccer.

We’ve even spotted such markets, particularly state league soccer, popping up on the listings offered by offshore and illegal sites located in south-east Asia. Forget about the threats of match-fixing at the top level – it’s at this level that integrity officers and law enforcement agencies should be focussing their efforts.

Match-fixing is not new in Australian football games. In 2014, the Victorian Premier League was dragged into a controversy when Southern Stars were found guilty of rigging games. Just recently, Football Federation Australia (FFA) sanctioned a player in Tasmania for betting on games involving his own club. Three words – tip of iceberg.

Fearing that semi-professional competitions will be tainted with more match-fixing incidents, National Premier League NSW (NPL NSW) clubs have actually called on the FFA to ban gambling on state league games.

The news report said that the practice of players betting on state league games is rife, fearing it could become beyond the control of clubs, suggesting “they’re all betting.”

The call came after APIA Leichhardt, one of NPL NSW’s affiliated teams, claimed that there was misconduct within the competition, with players or staff betting, match-fixing, spot-fixing or providing insider information, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Quoting an unnamed senior club administrator, the news report said that the practice of players betting on state league games is rife, fearing it could become beyond the control of clubs, suggesting “they’re all betting.”

APIA Leichhardt president Tony Raciti took the issue to Football NSW immediately after allegations of players gambling on results have reached his office. He is convinced that the alleged match-fixing could be taking place in the NPL NSW Division 1.

In his submission to the state body, Raciti urged the FFA to prohibit gambling on semi-professional games, as well as amateur youth football and fall in line with many other codes by restricting match betting to professional tiers.

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