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Football Association

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on how many occasions in the last five years he and his predecessors have met the Football Association to discuss (a) alleged irregularities in and (b) unusual betting activity on football matches; and if he will make a statement. (254701)

Ministers at the Department meet with the Football Association, as well as a wide variety of other sports bodies, on a regular basis to discuss a number of issues. In the last five years the general subject of integrity in sports betting has been discussed during those meetings, but the Secretary of State has not met the Football Association to specifically discuss irregularities in, or unusual betting activity on, football matches.

The Government take any allegations relating to the integrity of sport seriously. The Gambling Act 2005 (the Act) introduced tough new penalties to ensure gambling is free from crime and corruption. In particular the Act established the offence of cheating at gambling where any person found guilty faces a maximum prison sentence of two years.