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FA suspend players following betting scandal

The FA has suspended four players in the Unibond Premier League after they became the latest group of players to breach FA rules on betting.

The players - Lee Parle, Adam Farley, Paul Woolcott and Freddie Potter - played for Marine FC at the time of the offences. The charges related to bets placed on two Northern Premier League matches - Marine v Witton Albion (21 March 2008) and Matlock Town v Marine (4 April 2009).

Farley was found to have placed a £100 bet on Witton Albion to win the 2008 match and two £300 bets on Matlock Town to win the match in 2009 – a match in which he played. The Commission banned Farley from all football activity for nine months and he was fined £250.

Potter was found to have bet £300 on Matlock Town to beat Marine. He played for Marine in this fixture. He was given an eight month suspension and fined £250.

Parle, who still plays for Marine, was found to have bet on Matlock Town to win as part of a £20 double. Parle was injured and did not participate in the fixture. He was banned for six months and fined £200.

Woolcott admitted placing a £100 bet on Witton Albion to win the match in March 2008. He was absent from the side through suspension for this fixture. Woolcott was given a five month ban, of which three months is suspended until 1 July 2011 and to be imposed in the event of a similar breach of FA rules. He was also given a suspended £150 fine. In reaching its decision on Woolcott, the Commission took into account his full and immediate admission of the charge, apology and personal attendance at the hearing.

A Regulatory Commission statement said: “The Commission was of the impression that the breaches were of a very serious nature and that the sanctions imposed reflect this view. The FA’s Betting Rules must be enforced in the strongest possible way as they ensure that the paying spectators, general public and competitions maintain their faith in the integrity and sporting manner of all football matches.”

FA rules prohibit participants from betting on the result or progress of any match or competition in which the participant is participating or has any direct or indirect influence.

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