June 17, 2020 / 3:31 PM / 24 days ago

Online bookmaker Betway ends betting on soccer transfers

FILE PHOTO: La Liga Santander - Levante v Real Madrid - Estadi Ciutat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain - February 22, 2020 General view of a betway banner inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Jon Nazca

LONDON (Reuters) - Online bookmaker Betway said on Wednesday it had ended bets on soccer player transfers in all its territories and hoped the rest of the industry would do the same.

The announcement, on the day the Premier League restarts a season halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, follows cases involving former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge and England international defender Kieran Trippier.

“We weren’t one of the bookmakers actually hit by those cases, but there have been some high-profile cases which have highlighted that its probably not that responsible to be offering these markets,” said spokesman Alan Alger.

He added that while some incidents were unproven and players had been cleared, there was still a grey area of “did they, didn’t they tell someone and did someone act on the information?”

“It will protect the players if everybody joins us in this ban,” said Alger. “Hopefully people will join us and realise that its worth sacrificing the small amount of profit that you make on these markets.”

The FA charged Trippier with misconduct in May for an alleged breach of Rule E8(1)(a)(ii) and Rule E8(1)(b) in July 2019, around the time of his transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Atletico Madrid.

Rule E8(1)(b) states that a participant must not provide to any person, any information relating to football which the participant has obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available at that time.

Sturridge was banned and fined after being found guilty of providing his brother with information on a potential move from Liverpool to Sevilla in 2018.

Without the pandemic, the Premier League would be into its summer transfer window. That will not now open until the season ends on July 26, although some players are out of contract at the end of June.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge

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