Home > Sports betting > Fifa president says “there will be sanctions” for violating wagering rules

Fifa president says “there will be sanctions” for violating wagering rules

| By Jill R. Dorson
With the Olympics on the horizon and two major international soccer tournaments underway, Fifa president Gianni Infantino used an event to honour Pele as a time to remind players to also honour the game.
FIFA president gambling warning

On 15 June, in Paris, Infantino said his organisation wouldn’t abide players betting on the world’s most popular sport. He made the comments a day after UEFA’s Euro 2024 tournament opened and less than a week before Copa America kicked off.

“The players know: obviously, they should not bet,” he said, reported Games Magazine Brasil. “In football, in rugby, in any sport. When something happens, there are obviously investigations and very serious, very stringent decisions are made regarding betting. And football, at all levels, including amateur.”

Infantino’s comments were in response to questions about Brazilian national team and West Ham midfielder Lucas Paquetá. England’s Football Association (FA) is investigating Paquetá for potential wagering violations. In question are multiple matches during the 2022-23 and 2023-23 English Premier League (EPL) season.

Paquetá has denied the charges and is expected to start for Brazil on Monday (24 June) when his country plays Costa Rica in Copa America.

Violations of betting rules becoming less unusual

In the US sports betting rules violations have been a hot topic in recent months. The NBA and Major League Baseball each issued a lifetime ban, the first in US professional sports post-PASPA.

Former Toronto Raptor Jontay Porter was banned in April for betting on basketball games and sharing personal information with bettors. The Ontario provincial police have now opened a criminal investigation.

In early June, MLB banned San Diego Padre Tucupita Marcano for betting on his own team when he played in Pittsburgh. And on 14 June, MLB announced that it had disciplined an umpire for violating league betting rules.

Football has not been immune. Players in the EPL and Italy’s Serie A have recently been slapped with fines or suspensions for gambling. On 14 June, Major League Soccer placed Sporting KC’s Felipe Hernandez on “administrative leave” as it pursues potential gambling violations.

With football back on the world stage, Infantino seemed to be using his platform to remind players not to sully the sport.

“If someone committed an act against sports rules, it is obvious that there will be sanctions,” he said. “Now, each situation is different; it should not be trivialised and should be judged accordingly.”

UEFA Euro 2024 and Copa America are set to wrap up on 14 July, before the 24 July start of the summer Olympics in Paris. Brazil took home the gold medal in the last two Olympics.

Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter