FA to probe Terry substitution over betting activity

23 May 2017

The English Football Association (FA) has contacted a number of bookmakers to seek observations regarding the time-specific substitution of Chelsea player John Terry during his last game for the Premier League football club.

Terry, who will leave the English club this summer, was named in the starting line-up in the team’s final game of the season against Sunderland.

The defender was substituted just 26 minutes into the match as a tribute to his squad number, which he has worn throughout his career with the club.

However, according to The Guardian newspaper, it has now emerged that Paddy Power had taken bets on Terry being substituted between 26:00 and 26:59, at odds of 100-1.

Speaking after the game, Sunderland manager David Moyes said his players had “known it was coming” and did not object to the gesture, while Chelsea striker Diego Costa signalled to Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to kick the ball out of play at the time so that the substitution could take place.

Although the Premier League has said the substitution did not contravene any of its rules, the FA has opened dialogue with bookmakers to establish the chain of events.

The Guardian said that, so far, no suspicious betting patterns have been reported, but the gesture could be in breach of its match-fixing rules.

FA regulations state: “Fixing is arranging in advance the result or conduct of a match or competition, or any event within a match or competition.”

In a statement, Paddy Power said: “We replied to a novelty request for odds on John Terry’s substitution – one of hundreds on the Chelsea game – and fair play to the three punters who were on at odds of 100-1.

“To be honest the only mistake here is we should have clocked sooner there’d be another cringe-worthy Chelsea send-off for JT.”

Terry said in a post-match interview that the substitution was his idea, but it is understood the decision was made by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and a group of senior players.

Incidentally, Terry did not leave the pitch until the 28th minute after teammates formed a guard of honour, but Paddy Power honoured any bets placed on the 26th minute.

The case has drawn comparisons with an incident earlier this year when Sutton United goalkeeper Wayne Shaw ate a pie live on television during an FA Cup tie with Arsenal, after bookmakers had offered odds on this exact incident.

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