Information reported to the Gambling Commission has resulted in a football player being banned for six years by the Football Association (FA).
Bradley Wood, former Lincoln City FC defender, has been handed a six-year ban by football’s sport’s governing body. This is in relation to the 2017 FA Cup 5th Round match between Burnley and Lincoln City FC.
A betting firm, licensed by the Gambling Commission, identified and reported suspicious betting activity that the player would receive a yellow card during the match.
The FA’s robust action was taken as a result of collaborative work between the Commission’s Sports Betting Intelligence Unit, the FA and the betting industry.
Gambling Commission acting Executive Director, Richard Watson, said: “Professional footballers, and indeed those in other sports, must pay attention to Bradley Wood’s ban by the FA. This clear breach of FA rules is not acceptable and damages the integrity of sport.
“Through working with gambling firms, sports governing bodies and the public we can work hard to continue to keep crime out of British gambling and sport.”
Bradley Wood suspended for six years after breaching integrity and betting rules
Bradley Wood will serve a six-year suspension from football and all football activity from 9 March 2018 to 8 March 2024 after committing 25 breaches of The FA’s Integrity and Betting Rules.
The full written reasons of the Independent Regulatory Commission can be found here.
FA statement on football integrity
The integrity of football in England at all levels is of paramount importance which is why The FA, in partnership with the whole game, is committed to ensuring it is maintained.
The FA has a dedicated integrity team, including former criminal investigators, which is specifically tasked to investigate any alleged breaches of The FA’s Match Integrity and Betting Rules.
This team works closely with the Gambling Commission’s Sports Betting Integrity Unit, UK betting operators and law enforcement agencies, such as the National Crime Agency, and both UEFA and FIFA to share data and intelligence.
The FA has a partnership with a specialist bet monitoring company that analyses global markets offered on all English matches to identify unusual odds movements. It is also represented on the national Sports Betting Group and the Sports Betting Integrity Forum.
Education continues to be a key part of The FA’s overall framework, in conjunction with the PFA and leagues, with regular club visits, educational films, literature and a player essentials app all in place, thus ensuring all participants are aware of their obligations to report any approaches to bet, accept a bribe, share inside information, influence any event within a match or fix the outcome or result of a game or competition.
Any allegation or report of a potential breach will be investigated and the full force of The FA’s Match Integrity and Betting Rules, which are well developed and wide-ranging, will be applied. There exists also a dedicated, anonymous, integrity reporting line via the telephone number 0208 795 9640 or email firstname.lastname@example.org