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English Football Association Refuses To Cooperate With Player Advocates

The English Football Association (FA) does not allow the player protection organization GambleAware to film at Wembley Stadium. This was announced by the organizers of the Bet Regret awareness campaign. The FA refuses to cooperate because the association wants to distance itself from any gambling issue.

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The Football Association

Not a campaign film from Wembley Stadium

As local media reported this week (page in English), the FA is refusing to work with the UK’s largest player protection organization, GambleAware.

The association rejected a request from the non-profit organization to film the Wembley Stadium.

“The Wembley Stadium has the capacity to seat 90,000 visitors. This season it will sponsor the semi-finals as well as the final of the European Football Championship.”

GambleAware wanted to record a video in the football arena that was intended to help raise awareness among football fans of the risks of sports betting as part of its Bet Regret campaign.

The plan has met with little goodwill at the FA, which owns the home stadium of the England national team, said Marc Etches, CEO of Gamble Aware:

“(…) They did not wish to consent to this as they definitely had recently declared that they planned to put even more distance somewhere between themselves and betting. This really is even though the Bet Regret effort must be on the subject of ensuring people consider their betting patterns, particularly when they are bored stiff, intoxicated, or aiming to counteract loss.”

The FA also stated that it was inappropriate to provide funds to support GambleAware’s player protection campaign. After all, association members are prohibited from participating in gambling at all.

Conflict continues to escalate

The denial of the shooting permit is likely to represent a further step on the escalation ladder between football officials and player protection agencies.

The conflict about how to deal with gambling in football circles has been simmering for a long time. GambleAware is not the only one to criticize the massive presence of sponsors from the gaming sector in top English football.

British politicians are also becoming less and less patient with regard to the economic ties between betting and casino providers on the one hand and football teams and associations on the other.

The FA has not yet commented publicly on the subject of filming permits. The officials’ plan to create a distance between the thematic blocks of football and gambling is unlikely to have worked out, at least in this round.