English Soccer Player Suspended for Wagering on Own Team

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A soccer player in the fourth division of English football was given a three-month suspension for breaching the Football Association's betting rules.

Mitch Clark, a defender for Port Vale in the EFL League One, admitted he bet on over 300 games while playing for Accrington Stanley. Three of the bets he admitted to included wagers on his team, and one was against his own team.

Clark placed the bets between February 2022 and March 2023. Accrington Stanley was in League One during the 2022-23 season.

According to the FA report, of the 312 bets that were placed on football matches, 68 of them were on competitions in which his team was participating.

The report also indicated that Clark was not on the squad for the game when he bet against his own team.

Clark's 312 wagers totaled £2,215, and he had a net loss of £1,622.38 from the bets. Clark was also charged with a £600 fine by the FA.

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Clark admitted to having a gambling problem that started long before he placed the bets. He told the FA that he only recently started wagering on soccer.

The FA considered Clark's situation when deciding on a penalty.

"The panel considered that the Defendant was facing a genuine and serious problem of addiction that was affecting both his football career and personal circumstances, but that football was providing him with something of a foundation upon which to rebuild his life," the report wrote. "In the panel’s opinion, taking that away from a relatively young man — who appeared to have the support of his family to make progress — was to be avoided. "

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