English League One football club AFC Wimbledon has suspended manager Wally Downes after he was issued with a misconduct charge by the English Football Association (FA) for breaching its betting rules.
According to the FA, it is alleged Downes placed eight bets on football matches between November 30, 2013 and July 12, 2019.
The FA said this places Downes in breach of FA Rule E8, which bans any match official, coaching staff or anyone involved with a club below step four within the English National League System from betting or instructing anyone to bet on the outcome of a match or any other matters related to football.
Downes (pictured coaching at West Ham United in 2011) has until October 4 to provide an official response to the FA charge. He has managed AFC Wimbledon since November 2018.
In a statement of its own, AFC Wimbledon said the charge specifically related to a breach of FA Rule E8 (b), which refers to when an individual involved in football has provided information that was not publicly available at the time to someone for the purpose of betting. The FA did not cite this exact rule in its statement.
“Given the seriousness of this breach in FA regulations, the club has decided to suspend Wally with immediate effect, giving time for the club and Dons Trust boards to look at the allegations more closely and make a further announcement in due course,” AFC Wimbledon said.
First team assistant manager Glyn Hodges will take charge of the team for the match against Peterborough United on September 28. AFC Wimbledon are currently 23rd in League One.
The ruling comes after the FA earlier this month also fined Huddersfield Town £50,000 after the Championship club’s Paddy Power sponsorship stunt saw it found in breach of kit and advertising regulations.