Six current and three former Elgin City players among 14 footballers in Scotland charged with alleged breaches of gambling laws
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A HOST of current and former Elgin City players have been cited by the Scottish FA for alleged breaches of gambling laws.
Current players Tom McHale, Darryl McHardy, Matthew Cooper, Conor O'Keefe, Aiden Sopel and Rabin Omar have been served with notices of complaint by the SFA.
On top of that, former players James McGowan, Ashley Ballam and Shane Sutherland – now of Inverness Caley Thistle – have been cited.
They are among 14 players that are alleged to have broken gambling laws between 2011 and 2019. Deveronvale's Robert Scott is also mentioned.
Elgin City released a statement quickly after the news broke. It reads: "We have been advised of the notices of complaint by the SFA.
"We will speak to our players, our lawyers and the SFA in order to determine the most appropriate way to proceed, and if necessary we will issue a further statement in due course."
McHale, McHardy, Cooper, O'Keefe, McGowan, Ballam, Sutherland and Sopel are due to have hearings on February 11, with Omar's set for February 18.
The vast majority of rule breaches relate to Rule 31 of the SFA's Disciplinary Rules. It states: "No club official, team official or other member of team staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall gamble in any way on a football match."
Matthew Cooper is alleged to have broken this rule across seven seasons between 2012 and 2019, with Shane Sutherland and Darryl McHardy said to have broken the same rule across five campaigns between 2014 and 2019.
Rabin Omar, Tom McHale, Aiden Sopel, James McGowan and Ashley Ballam are all alleged to have broken the same rule across one or two seasons.
In addition, Shane Sutherland and Conor O'Keefe are alleged to have broken Rule 33 in season 2013/14.
This rule states: "No club, official, team official or other member of team staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall directly or indirectly offer or receive a bonus or any other inducement to or from another club, official, player, match official or any other person to influence the result of a match or otherwise affect the conduct of a match."