Column: FIFA presidency no laughing matter as would-be candidate becomes frontman for gambling

PARIS Don't laugh. There's absolutely nothing funny concerning the gambling industry's latest wheeze in order to sink its teeth even deeper into football and its fans.

We're talking here regarding David Ginola. Thus silky like a player with regard to Newcastle and also Tottenham; consequently ridiculous now along together with his car-crash campaign for your FIFA presidency.

Ginola has zero potential for unseating Sepp Blatter. FIFA's election and ethics guidelines will nearly certainly keep him off the actual Could ballot. Following Thursday's passing in the entry deadline, "Team Ginola" must fade away.

But that isn't the purpose here. This kind of was ready creating a splash. in pocketing 250,000 kilos (335,000 euros; US$375,000) via bookmaker Paddy power regarding this stunt, Ginola became the newest Trojan horse within the gambling as well as gaming industry's creeping and also creepy embrace associated with football.

"I'm here today to speak concerning love" had been the Frenchman's seductive opening words at his campaign launch in London this month.

But the particular targets had been our wallets along with investing habits, not our hearts. That Will much ended up being clear from your Paddy Energy branding.

Bet. Bet again. Bet a number of more.

That will always be the message in which football, more than nearly all other sports, will be mainlining into our homes, assisted by names similar to Ginola and also teams lending their own cachet, stadiums, jerseys along with players for the market which had cash to always be able to splash when the 2008 financial crisis hobbled some other sponsors.

"It's eyeballs we're after," 12Bet executive Rory Anderson, quoted within the daily Mail, stated once the on the internet bookmaker took more than as identify in Hull City's shirt with regard to this Premier League season.

And how about this blurb coming from Sky Bet, title sponsor since 2013 of England's 3 divisions under the Premier League. It reads just like a plug regarding fifty http://www.bet365.dk/default.asp?lng=1&script=mainpage.asp Shades of Grey.



Sport "matters a lot more when there's cash on it," it says. "There's a lot more passion, more pleasure and more pain."

Whoa. Precisely what ever happened for you to sport regarding sport's sake, for the buzz associated with competition, not just a bet? How quaint. Which ended up being prior to on-line bookmakers offered odds about anything as well as everything, coming from match results as well as objectives scored to always be able to which team will get the coin toss or perhaps consider the 1st corner, and also before their relentless advertising.

Sports as well as gambling have, regarding course, long gone together, feeding off each and also every other's success and growth. Tuning throughout regarding outcomes associated with football betting pools, which offered large jackpots regarding little stakes, was a Saturday afternoon ritual for most Last Century English families.

But gambling marketing wasn't as in-your-face as now. Within your UK, which usually liberalized gambling advertising throughout 2007, adults' exposure for you to gambling commercials on television soared five-fold in eight a lengthy time in order to 2012, regulator Ofcom found. The Particular boost ended up being three-fold for children previous 4-15.

Asking your children to produce tea in the particular course of half-time breaks won't shield all of them in the bombardment, certainly not using gambling ads flashing throughout matches in pitch-side light-boards. Hull against Aston Villa upon Feb. 10 will pit 2 Asian on the particular internet bookmakers against each other. Villa's shirt sponsor can be dafabet, a name that actually works better within Chinese, exactly where "dafa" implies "big wealth." Stoke as well as Burnley players are generally billboards pertaining to Bet365 as well as Fun88 (another name in which plays on the Chinese term to obtain rich).

All this in a sport grappling using the increasing danger associated with gambling-related match-fixing as well as together with ample examples associated with gambling-addicted players whom frittered away their own wealth.



One associated with these is actually Kevin Twaddle, the former player pertaining to Motherwell along together with other Scottish clubs that informed his story inside the biography, "Life Around The Line: How in order to lose a Million and also A Excellent Deal More." He no more gambles and it has delivered talks with other players in regards to the risks.

Twaddle takes an extremely dim view of Ginola's Paddy Power-backed grab pertaining to FIFA.

"It's an absolute disgrace," he explained in a phone interview. "It's great for Paddy Power. Yet I suggest you're discussing one of the biggest, powerfulest work opportunities inside football and all you're receiving to know regarding here is actually Paddy Power."

"It just makes being a mockery associated with football."

Imagine, for a moment, the Paddy Power-financed FIFA president. It won't happen; FIFA's ethics rules must discover in order to that. Nevertheless your mere thought with the gambling industry even attempting to place a new stooge in the really top of football helps to create the prospect of another Blatter term seem maybe not quite so bad.

And that isn't funny at all.

___

John Leicester is definitely an international sports columnist regarding the Connected Press. Create for you to him in jleicester@ap.org as well as comply with him in http://twitter.com/johnleicester

Write a comment

Comments: 0