Football chiefs are considering a ban on one of the most promising betting methods in the business
 
The media across Europe is reporting extensively on speculation that football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA are seriously considering a ban on one of the most popular betting channels – in-game wagering.
 
Both bodies claim that the increasingly popular pastime of betting whilst games are in progress represents a bigger threat of manipulation than the more conventional gambling on results.
 
Marco Villiger, head of legal affairs at world soccer’s ruling body FIFA, and Gianni Infantino, general secretary of European counterparts UEFA, expressed concern this week over betting on things like the next free kick, throw-in or yellow card.
 
“These live bets are a problem,” said Villiger. “It’s very easy to manipulate if you contact a player and tell him to kick the ball into touch at the start.
 
“You would be able to bet on that and it would be difficult to decide if it is an irregular bet or not. We will have to think about whether we should continue to offer such live bets,” he added.
 
Infantino said the soccer authorities planned to consult with operators, noting: “This is something we want to address. It’s something we haven’t focused on too much since we were always focusing on the result, then you realise it switches much more from the result to the live betting. This is much more difficult to monitor. This is people betting on the next goal, the next throw-in, the next yellow card."
 
UEFA president Michel Platini has described match-fixing as the biggest scourge facing the sport, and noted that FIFA is already investigating two friendly internationals played in the Turkey recently where a total of seven penalties were awarded, one of which was taken twice when the first effort was saved.