FAI has confirmed that football clubs in Ireland are still allowed to acquire betting sponsorships
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has stated that their imposed betting sponsorship ban will not effect the League of Ireland football clubs.
This news comes after Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk confirmed that their new sponsors are from the betting and gaming industry.
Shamrock has signed a deal with 888 while Dundalk has confirmed Bet Regal as their new sponsor.
The newly appointed FAI chief executive, Jonathan Hill, recently stated that the Irish national team will not pursue any betting partnerships but the decision to stop these types of sponsorships will not be enforced on local football clubs.
That decision is up to the club and any decision is an internal one.
It is not the first time where an association has banned these types of sponsorships. The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) announced this type of ban in 2018 while England’s Football Association (EFA) took on this stance in 2017.
This issue has been the center of many debates in the UK, as the UK government are also looking at the possibility of enforcing this type of ban on sponsorships as part of the ongoing review of the 2005 Gambling Act.
During the launch of the new season, League of Ireland director, Mark Scanlon, stated:
We are quite happy with our own stance but club matters are internal. As long as they fit within Uefa regulation and FAI regulations, we’re happy with that. These things have continued to evolve over the last number of years; we have seen regulations come into place for areas like alcohol sponsorship and so on.
When quizzed on whether it sends out the wrong message that the two top teams in Ireland are sponsored by betting companies, Mark Scalon added:
Every sponsorship deal decision would have to go through the board. Clubs internally have to make those decisions themselves and who they want to bring on board as partners.
The UK has constantly experienced pressure regarding betting sponsorship bans. Several committees and associations have applied pressure on betting firms to be eradicated from sports with a call for action being spearheaded by the House of Lords Select Committee and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm.
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