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Bradford City player charged by FA for alleged betting offence committed in 2017

Bradford City player Harry Chapman has been charged by FA for an alleged betting offence said to have been committed in 2017.

The 25 year old Bantams midfielder was playing for Championship side Blackburn, still registered as a Middlesbrough player, with Bradford saying in a statement that Chapman has the club’s “full support” and will continue to train with his team-mates.

Chapman has until Thursday the 6th of July to respond to the charges, according to the statement issued by the FA and Bradford.

The League Two side said: “Bradford City AFC acknowledges an FA misconduct charge against Harry Chapman, in relation to The FA’s Betting Rules.

“It is alleged the midfielder breached FA Rule E8(1)(b) in 2017, while registered with Blackburn Rovers.

“Harry Chapman has the full support of everyone at Bradford City AFC, and will continue to train with his teammates as normal throughout pre-season until further notice.

“The club will be making no further comment on the matter at this time.”

Anyone involved in professional or semi-professional football in England is forbidden from betting on the game worldwide, and promoting such activities in their personal capacity is also prohibited. Eight years ago, strict new rules were introduced to simplify an existing regulation which prohibited bets on matches, competitions and off-field issues in which the participants were personally involved.

The rules were put in place to protect integrity, but some argue that they unfairly prohibit players from gambling lawfully on games which they do not have any connection with. The new rules are also subject to debate as they have caught a number of high-profile gamblers out.

Five years ago, the FA severed its commercial ties to the gambling industry after finally admitting that there was at least a perceived conflict of interest in its enforcement of betting within the game while taking the money from bookmakers. The FA didn’t stop clubs from doing the same, and only last month was a blanket advertising ban enforced by the Committee for Advertising Practice against those in the game who promote gambling. The FA and the Government have been unable to force the sport to cut off all ties with the gambling industry because of the teams’ dependence on bookmaker sponsorships. Some clubs could even go bankrupt if they are deprived.

Eight Premier League teams and six Championship clubs had gambling sponsors on the front of their shirts for 2022/23: Everton, Leeds United, West Ham United, Newcastle United, Southampton, Fulham, Brentford, Bournemouth, Sunderland), Stoke City, Middlesbrough and Birmingham City. Many more teams have sponsorship deals for their sleeves, training kit logos and stadium advertising.

In September, it was revealed that some clubs were taking a share of the money lost by fans to Sky Bet. A group of MPs demanded the English Football League end its long-standing partnership with Sky Bet.

The PFA reported that 520 members of the association sought counselling and treatment from Sporting Chance during last season. Around 40 of these individuals had gambling addictions. Tony Adams, a former England and Arsenal captain who founded the clinic in 2020, stated that nearly half of its clients were being treated.

Colin Bland, the chief executive of the charity, expressed “concerns” about the gambling exposure that clients face when they return to work, both during treatment and after.

This was a result of research conducted by GambleAware, the Gambling Commission and others that found problem gamblers are more likely to experience suicidal feelings, to attempt suicide or to harm themselves.

The long-delayed update to the Gambling Act will be published at the end or beginning of the year. Premier League clubs will introduce a voluntary sponsorship ban to avoid a government-imposed prohibition.

EFL teams would be exempt from any such intervention, however that won’t be enough to satisfy campaigners demanding an end to all links between sport and the gambling industry.

A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “We are undertaking the most comprehensive review of gambling laws in 15 years to ensure they are fit for the digital age. As we have said all along, we will be publishing a white paper as part of a review of gambling legislation.”

Under the current Gambling Act, betting companies are required to share information with sports governing bodies relating to potential breaches of their rules.

The Betting and Gaming Council has also defended its links to football, with a spokesman saying: “The regulated betting and gaming industry provides some of the country’s most popular sport with vital funding. The Government has previously stated research did not establish a causal link between exposure to advertising and the development of problem gambling.”

SEE MORE: Pressure on EFL and non league as Premier League clubs agree to BAN gambling sponsors on shirts

This is what fans said with the Bradford City player charged by the FA for an alleged betting offence committed in 2017…

@bfdbannon: 6 year ago. Drop it and help the lad out to make sure it doesn’t happen again

@djedmandsbcafc: get a grip it was 6 years ago

@SHD_Backup: Just one regular day of this football club is all I ask

@ASTYorks: I don’t understand it really is not that difficult. If you are employed in professional football you do not bet on football. Ever. Simple. The sacrifice you make (and it is a tiny one) of being lucky enough to be employed in the game is don’t bet on it.

@tommyibbo: Just one regular day with this club I beg 😭

@leepasq12: what.

@matt_eyres: oh jesus christ

@FeatherTim: Double standards from @FA, the lad was 19. Improve your education of younger players

@Thecityvent: Yet all these gambling companies plague our game with sponsorship, what do they expect? Gambling sponsorship and adverts needs to be totally ripped out of the game asap. Gambling ruins lives, seen it first hand. #bcafc

@djedmandsbcafc: 6 years ago who’s arsed

@JakeDawson8: Oh no, does that mean he’ll be banned from playing in the.. Sky Bet league two?

@Jamiesk35638078: Christ you couldn’t make it up at this club… getting planning for life without him for a good while

@CUFC70: Happened 6 years ago. If he’s not been betting since on games, give him a slap on the wrist rather than a ban. Every chance he’s been betting on the Sky Bet football league… double standards

@DamianClough2: How has this surfaced?

@Jaydennnnn05: Get a grip the lad was 19 in 2017 ridiculous the FA and EFL will look at this but not the shit refs #bcafc

@BB_9Eth: Never a dull day at #bcafc

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