Scottish footballer Ian Black, a player contracted to League One side Rangers F.C., has been hit with a ten-match ban after he was found to have bet on a total of 160 football matches over a seven-year period, including 13 games involving his own team.
The player will miss Rangers’ next three league games, with the following seven matches suspended until the end of the football season, and has also been fined £7,500, payable immediately.
Black was found guilty of breaking the Scottish Football Association’s (SFA) Disciplinary Rule 22, which states that no club, match or team official, or any other individual under the jurisdiction of the SFA, is permitted to bet on a football match, aside from through authorised and registered football pools.
Over the seven-year period in which Black played for Scottish Premier League sides Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Heart of Midlothian, before joining the lower-league Rangers, he was found to have bet against the team he was contracted to play for on three occasions, bet on a further 10 matches involving his club, and placed bets on 147 other football matches.
However, the SFA noted, there was no evidence to suggest a breach of Disciplinary Rule 23, which prohibits players from behaving in a manner that would influence the game in order to benefit financially from betting.
The case is the latest high-profile instance this year of football players falling foul of betting regulations, after Premier League footballers Cameron Jerome and Andros Townsend were charged with gambling-related offences.
Jerome was hit with a £50,000 fine for unspecified breaches of the English Football Association’s betting rules, while Townsend was handed a £18,000 penalty and banned from all football activity for four months.