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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Chaplain praises FA move to end deals with betting firms

The Chaplain for Sport has applauded the Football Association’s “wise” move to pull out of a four-year sponsorship deal with Ladbrokes after just one year.

The move comes following a Football Association (FA) board decision in May to cut ties with betting companies.

Driven by FA chairman Greg Clarke, the decision was reached after a three-month review of the governing body’s links to the betting industry.

The rationale for the move, which will see the FA give up a reported £4million a year in lost revenue, is that the governing body cannot enforce the strict anti-gambling rules for those involved in the game while earning money to help promote gambling.

“It is a wise move by the FA to pull out of that deal,” Mgr Vladimir Felzmann, Chaplain for Sport and CEO of the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, told The Universe.

“It is healthy – and hopeful – to see clear water between sport authorities and the betting industry,” he added.

The decision comes only months after The Universe reported that Celtic manager Brendan Rogers urged footballers struggling with gambling addictions to open up about their problems.

Read more on this story in this week’s Universe, which is available now.

Picture: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers with the Scottish Premiership trophy after the Ladbrokes Premiership match in Glasgow. (Craig Watson/PA).