Know the rules: Betting, Match Fixing and Inside Information

Betting rules for football participants

The FA wants to preserve what is great in the beautiful game and has devised rules regarding betting in football to help protect the integrity and future of football.

These rules apply to everyone involved in football, from the players and managers, to the match officials and club staff.

 
A worldwide ban on betting on football was introduced for all those involved in the game at Premier League, English Football League, National League and The FA Women's Super League and The FA Women's Championship levels, as well as those at clubs in the Northern, Southern and Isthmian leagues and all other Participants who do not fall into the category below.

Participants covered by the ban will be prohibited from betting, either directly or indirectly, on any football match or competition that takes place anywhere in the world.

This also includes a worldwide ban on betting on any other football-related matter. For example, the transfer of players, employment of managers or team selection. The passing of inside information to somebody that uses the information for betting remains prohibited. 

What is inside information?

Inside information is information that you are aware of due to your position in the game and which is not publicly available - for example, this may be injury or team selection news.

You are not allowed to use inside information to place a bet or to instruct someone else to do so on your behalf.

You are not allowed to pass inside information on to someone else which they use for betting.

You can be considered to have passed inside information by word of mouth, email, writing, or even social media postings.

You may be in breach of the Rules if you pass inside information on to someone else even if you did not know that they were going to use it to bet.

Step 5 and Below

The betting rules are different for those Participants involved solely with a club at Step 5 of the National League System and below and for any Match Official, referee, coach or referee assessor, operating at Level 4 or below.

No Participant can bet on a match or competition in which they are involved that season, or which they can influence, or any other football-related matter concerning the league that they play in.

Participants are also prohibited from using or passing inside information for betting.

These are the only Participants who will not be subject to the worldwide ban.

Match Fixing

Fixing is arranging in advance the result or conduct of a match or competition, or any event within a match or competition.

Fixing is prohibited and is treated very seriously.

 

In addition, offering or accepting any bribes related in any way to improperly influencing the result or conduct of a match or competition or any event within a match or competition is similarly prohibited and serious.

If you attempt to fix, you are likely to get caught and receive an FA charge. If found proved, this is likely to lead to a significant suspension, and in some instances, a lifetime ban.

If you are approached or suspect that a colleague or someone you know has been approached or is involved in fixing, then you must report it to The FA immediately.

Failure to report any such offers may result in an FA charge against you

Advice For Match Officials

Approaches to fix games or events within games is not just the concern of players - these approaches may also be made to Match Officials. You could be offered money or rewards for influencing the outcome of a game by awarding penalties or sending off players.

The FA has systems in place to take action should they become aware of any suspicious activity concerning a match, such as replacing the appointed Match Officials prior to the game.

Reporting an approach or suspicious activity for Players and Officials

If you are approached, or are aware of anything suspicious regarding a game that you have officiated then you must report it to The FA.

Email: integrity@thefa.com
Telephone: 0208 795 9640

Alternatively, you may also wish to speak to a representative from the PGMOL or The FA's Referee's Department.

Email: referees@thefa.com

Think you won't get caught? Think again.

Match-fixing, or breaching the FA betting rules, or using inside information, is serious stuff.
The FA, the Gambling Commission and betting companies have sophisticated systems to monitor and detect breaches of the betting rules. These organisations advise us of issues that arise in the cash, telephone and online betting markets.
If you attempt to match fix, or breach the FA betting rules, or pass on inside information, you are likely to get caught and receive a FA charge. The FA has the power to interview you and to require you to produce records such as itemised phone bills, betting account statements and bank statements.

If found guilty, then this can lead to financial penalties, suspensions, and in some instances, lifetime bans.

So let’s work together – we really need to work together. It is your responsibility to make sure you know the rules and help support the collective effort from the football authorities, players, clubs and officials, to protect the integrity of the game. The rules have never been clearer or easier to understand.
Remember, it’s your reputation, your responsibility and your career.