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Are FIFA and UEFA banning in-game betting?

The media across Europe is reporting extensively on speculation that football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA are seriously considering a ban on one of the most popular betting channels - in-game wagering.

Both bodies claim that the increasingly popular pastime of betting whilst games are in progress represents a bigger threat of manipulation than the more conventional gambling on results.

Marco Villiger, head of legal affairs at world soccer's ruling body FIFA, and Gianni Infantino, general secretary of European counterparts UEFA, expressed concern this week over betting on things like the next free kick, throw-in or yellow card.

"These live bets are a problem," said Villiger. "It's very easy to manipulate if you contact a player and tell him to kick the ball into touch at the start.

"You would be able to bet on that and it would be difficult to decide if it is an irregular bet or not. We will have to think about whether we should continue to offer such live bets," he added.

Infantino said the soccer authorities planned to consult with operators, noting: "This is something we want to address. It's something we haven't focused on too much since we were always focusing on the result, then you realise it switches much more from the result to the live betting. This is much more difficult to monitor. This is people betting on the next goal, the next throw-in, the next yellow card."

UEFA president Michel Platini has described match-fixing as the biggest scourge facing the sport, and noted that FIFA is already investigating two friendly internationals played in the Turkey recently where a total of seven penalties were awarded, one of which was taken twice when the first effort was saved.

Source: InfoPowa News

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29 March 2011 - 1:29pm

I really doubt that someone can get a player's attention and thus influence the game in real time. If someone can do that he can probably influence the match on a larger scale and therefore would go for a different kind of bets.

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31 March 2011 - 12:57am

No doubt it would be difficult to influence a game in real time, unless the coach or staff are in on it too. But you could set it up so the player does it first thing after kick off or half time, or after a certain number of minutes.

Matthew Le Tissier admitted trying to rig a bet on first throw in once so it does happen:


In September 2009, Le Tissier revealed in his autobiography that he had placed a spread bet on a match he was involved in during his playing career. During an April 1995 match at Wimbledon, Le Tissier stood to win "well into four figures" after betting on the time of the first throw-in. After choosing to kick off, he tried to overhit a pass to unsuspecting teammate Neil Shipperley, but due to nerves, underhit it and Shipperley was able to keep the ball in play. Le Tissier revealed he had "never run so much" in his life as he tried to put the ball out of play to avoid losing money, with the ball eventually going out of play after 70 seconds, meaning Le Tissier and his associates neither won nor lost money. The event was investigated by Hampshire Police but the Crown Prosecution Service refused to take the case further, citing that it did "not represent appropriate use of police resources" and "would not be in the public interest".

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