Two match ban for Rangers keeper

Simonsen

Goalkeeper Steve Simonsen was faced with a two match ban recently after it emerged that he had been accused of betting on football games.

The 35-year-old, who has been playing for the Rangers since 2013, was found guilty by the Scottish Football Association of betting on a total of 55 games. He was charged in January with the offences and received his punishment in February, which included a Championship clash with Hibs at Ibrox.

Lee Robinson took Simonsen’s place throughout the duration of the ban, with his second match ban having been suspended until the end of the season.

While the SFA can appeal against the judgement, Rangers have said that they will not launch an appeal against the ban.

With the number of special offers available on today’s betting markets, gambling on matches has become particularly appealing for those involved in sport today. For example, at FootieLive, you can take up multiple offers to gain free bets on your preferred games.

However, on this occasion, Simonsen’s betting patterns did not involve his own club, but his punishment will serve as a reminder to others wishing thinking of pursuing the same path. Gordon Durie, a coach for Ibrox, said: “Hopefully this is a message for the boys not to do it.”

Fellow Ibrox team-mate Ian Black also received a ban when it was discovered that he had been gambling on football, though by contrast, one of his bets did in fact involve his own team. In September 2013, he was fined and given a 10 match ban, seven of which were suspended, for a gambling breach.

At present, under SFA disciplinary rule 33, players, club officials and referees in Scotland are banned from betting on football anywhere in the world.

The case echoes a similar situation for Dunfermline Athletic striker Michael Moffat, who, this time last year, was faced with a six match ban after he was caught betting on six matches involving his own team.

At the time, Moffat was playing for Ayr United, and was charged with making seven bets on six matches involving Ayr between August 3 and August 10 2013. However, in Moffat’s case, the ban was appealed and was reduced from six games to four, with Moffat deeming the whole situation “grossly unfair.”

It seems a paltry punishment for something which could potentially change the outcome of a match, but with history repeating itself in the case of Steve Simonsen, it could be time for the SFA to review its policies once again.

 

S Douglas

Football writer amongst other things.