The GFA has taken legal action against sportsbooks accepting unauthorised bets on its events. This comes as part of a crackdown on corruption in the sport.

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Illegal activities in Football betting appear to be a growing concern, and one that officials within the sport are taking seriously. The most recent example of this is the decision by the Ghana Football Association (GFA), to take action against unauthorised accepting of sports bets on major competitions.

Sports betting is legal in Ghana, both online and in land-based establishments, but unlicensed operators remain a concern in the country. At the Ghana Premier League (GPL) season launch in the December of 2019, new GFA President Kurt Okraku publicly banned sportsbooks from offering GPL markets, as well as markets on any other competitions run by the GFA, without holding the appropriate licences.

In spite of this edict, the GFA found that several operators offered odds on GPL matches in late December 2019 without having the authorisation to do so. This prompted the Association to instruct its legal team to take action against the bookmakers involved in the illicit wagers.

The GFA’s Public Statement

At the time of instructing its lawyers to take action, the GFA issued a public statement warning all betting companies to stop taking bets on any GFA product without explicit GFA authorisation, or face legal proceeding without further notice.

At the same time, the organisation said, they wanted to alert the Gaming Commission of Ghana which serves as the national regulator of the unlawful activities. The bookmakers in question were licensed, but their specific accepting of these bets was not.

Stricter Corruption Prevention

In addition to banning the use of GFA fixtures and results in sports betting, Okraku announced that all domestic Football participants – players and anyone else involved in the industry – are also prohibited from placing any future bets.

Collectively, the measures appear to have been put in place in order to combat corruption within Ghanaian sport in general and Ghanaian Football in particular. Kwesi Nyantakyi, previously the President of the GFA, was banned from the sport for life after being found guilty of breaking corruption and bribery regulations.

Football teams also appear to be taking the crackdown on corrupt behaviour seriously, with GPL team Elmina Sharks appealing to the GFA to investigate what they termed a fake friendly involving their academy in December 2019. The Sharks contended that the game was put together for betting and match-fixing purposes.

For now, the situation is similar to the ban by the British Football Association, or FA, on any of their associates placing wagers on Football-related matters. The FA’s decision also came after a series of betting scandals rocked the industry. Clearly, regulatory organisations across the world want to preserve the integrity of The Beautiful Game.

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