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The English Football Association (FA) has announced that a worldwide ban on betting on football will come into force from 1 August 2014 for all participants in English football.

With this measure, the FA expects to have a clearer set of rules concerning the protection of the integrity of the game. Currently, FA Rules state that 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.

In the new FA Rules, 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. Participants include all those involved in the game at Premier League, Football League and Football Conference levels, as well as the top two divisions in each of the Northern, Southern and Isthmian leagues.

Simon-Barker-350The English Professional Footballers' Association was also consulted on this issue, says Simon Barker, PFA's spokesperson on Integrity (photo).

He outlines the background of this measure: "Most other sports in England have or are moving towards a complete prohibition on their players betting on their own sport, mainly for integrity perception reasons."

"Talks between football's stakeholders have been ongoing and although the PFA has reservations regarding the effectiveness and suitability of a complete ban, we were adamant that if there was to be a ban it was imperative that it was not just the players who should shoulder the burden of integrity but all participants including people such as owners, managers, coaches, physiotherapists, etc. This was agreed by all and the new rule will be backed up with an effective education programme, which the PFA will be centrally involved in, advising on the rules along with warnings on match-fixing and betting addiction."