FAI does not want to negotiate with bookmakers for main sponsor vacancy

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FAI does not want to negotiate with bookmakers for main sponsor vacancy

The Irish Football Association (FAI) decided not to accept a betting company as its new primary sponsor, believing that such a deal could send the wrong message and compromise sporting integrity.

The football governing body in Ireland is looking for a new business partner for its national teams, as the contract with the company Three ended in December 2019.

The bookmaker Paddy Power has expressed interest in closing a partnership, considering the idea throughout 2020. But FAI has already dismissed the betting company as a potential candidate, saying its sponsorship would be inadequate due to issues associated with gambling.

Sports betting sponsorship is one of the topics currently under consideration by the UK government as part of the revision of the 2005 Gaming Law. to its agreements with companies in the sector.

New FAI CEO prioritizes search for business partners

Ireland’s Gaelic Athletic Association voted to ban sponsorship deals with the betting industry in 2018, while FAI itself drew criticism by announcing a partnership with betting company SportPesa the following year.

Appointed on November 1, 2020, FAI CEO Jonathan Hill was hired based on his business connections, with the search for a sponsor as his priority. But despite debts of around € 70 million, the agency does not believe that joining a bookmaker would be appropriate.

The Football Association of England (FA) ended any link with sponsor Ladbrokes in 2017, although this seemed a reaction to Joey Barton’s criticism of the involvement of sports-sponsored betting and gambling companies in the country.

Barton, still a professional player at the time, was caught betting on his own matches. He was suspended for a year and a half after admitting to playing illegal games. There were more than 1200 bets over the course of a decade. Barton still received a £ 30,000 fine and retired at age 34.