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FA to review Cup rights after ties shown on betting website

The FA Cup is displayed before the 2019 final between Manchester City and Watford at Wembley © AFP/File / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS

LONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 8 – The Football Association says it will review the betting element of FA Cup broadcast rights related to ties being viewed on a gambling website.

Bookmaker Bet365 showed 23 third-round matches last weekend as part of its deal with the FA, which was signed in January 2017.

The matches were only available to watch if the customer had placed a bet or deposited an account with £5 ($6.5) in the 24 hours before kick-off.

The FA announced in July 2017 that it had cut all ties with gambling firms, ending a deal with Ladbrokes, and has suggested it will review future broadcast rights.

“We will review this element of the media rights sales process ahead of tendering rights to the new cycle from the 2024/25 season onwards,” said an FA spokesman.

“Leagues and clubs continue to govern their own relationships with gambling companies.

“The FA agreed a media rights deal with IMG in early 2017, part of which permits them to sell the right to show live footage or clips of FA Cup matches to bookmakers. Bet365 acquired these rights from IMG to use from the start of the 2018/19 season.

“This deal was agreed before we made a clear decision on the FA’s relationship with gambling companies in June 2017 when we ended our partnership with Ladbrokes.”

All third-round matches last weekend were delayed by one minute to publicise the FA’s Heads Up mental health campaign, backed by FA President Prince William. The Prince has no oversight or involvement in the commercial aspects of the FA.

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In a statement to Britain’s Press Association, Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said: “PHE is currently reviewing the evidence about the health harms of gambling, which we believe are wide-ranging.

“Our report will provide sports governing bodies a fresh opportunity to review their relationships with gambling.”

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