Football players go betting

Is it a case of low remuneration or a mere love for the game? Could it be insatiable appetite for money? The truth could be hidden somewhere there, but fact is soccer betting has become so popular in Zimbabwe that even players from various Premier Soccer League clubs have also taken to the practice.

Dynamos’ Thomas Magorimbo, Harare City’s David Kutyauripo, and the suspended Guthrie Zhokini have become regulars at a betting shop situated in the Avenues Area during the off-season break. They even place their bets on days when their teams are not in action.

Sources say this could be a tip of the ice-berg, as more players from other PSL clubs have also become regulars at betting shops scattered all over the country. Those involved claimed they have made huge sums of money, especially when placing their bets on matches in the English Premier League or the Spanish La Liga.

To some, football betting has become a form of employment in a country with a very high unemployment rate. Some people have nothing to do but spend the whole day in football betting houses.

In some countries, players are discouraged from taking part in betting as domestic matches would also be in the offing. Former Premier Soccer League Chief Executive Officer, Chris Sambo, felt it was not proper for players to be involved in this betting system, as they could compromise matches they play.

“Allowing players to bet on these matches could lead to match-fixing. Players should be discouraged from such practices,” he said. Although Jonathan Mashingaidze, the Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Football Association, could not be reached for a comment on whether there was a law forbidding this, Sambo said betting by players was a new phenomenon that needed to be looked into.

Although there are many other institutions of football betting, even Mashonaland Turf Club, better known for horse racing, has introduced football betting due to its popularity.

Post published in: Football
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