Hereford & Worcester

Ban for ex-Redditch United players betting on games

Three former Redditch United players have been suspended and fined for a "blatant" breach of FA regulations over betting on matches.

Matt Clarke was suspended for 12 months and fined £3,500 after admitting 25 breaches, including 11 charges relating to three fixtures he played in.

Scott Rickards was suspended for six months for betting on a match he played in against Stalybridge Celtic.

Howard Forinton faces a four month suspension relating to the same game.

All players admitted the breaches which related to when they were players for Redditch United, the FA said.

In a statement, the FA's Regulatory Commission said: "The Football Association was clear in its submissions that there was no suggestion of match fixing implied in any of these cases.

"The suspensions and fines are imposed because the FA rules restricting betting by players (and others) on matches or competitions in which they are involved are vital to ensure public confidence in the integrity of football.

"These players were all in blatant breach of the rules."

Matt Clarke's breaches related to fixtures in 2007 and 2008. He left the club by mutual consent in 2008.

'Financial pressures'

Scott Rickards was fined £2,000 for two breaches relating to the Stalybridge Celtic match and an additional £500 after being charged with failing to assist in an investigation, the spokesman added.

Howard Forinton was fined £500 for his two breaches relating to the Celtic game.

The players claimed they were not expecting to take part in the games and had not been paid by the club, the FA said.

"The Commission made some allowance for the eventual acceptance of guilt by each of the players meaning that the Commission only had to deal with the level of sanction to be applied as opposed to establishing guilt.

"The Commission also considered the mitigation in other areas submitted by the players, including the fact that the players were not expecting to play in the games on which they had placed a bet and also the fact they had not been paid by the club for several weeks increased their financial pressures.

"The Commission believes that the sanctions imposed properly reflect the seriousness of these offences."

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