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You can bet players are gambling, says Rangers boss McCoist

By Lisa Gray

Rangers manager Ally McCoist claims he has a list of over 100 players and officials within Scottish football who he believes gamble on matches.

Ibrox midfielder Ian Black was this week hit with a Scottish Football Association charge involving 160 alleged breaches of rules on gambling stretching back more than seven years.

The charge includes three occasions where he is accused of betting against his own team.

McCoist – who confirmed Black will continue to be available for selection – was armed with a thick bundle of pages at his pre-match press conference ahead of tonight's league game at Airdrie.

He said: "This is a list of players and football officials in our country who quite enjoy putting a wee bet on, having a wee coupon and a couple of quid on their team.

"I would never disclose the names but it's over 100 in 10 minutes that the boys have got me.

"It's a wee bit of enjoyment to stick a wee coupon on for a fiver or a tenner or whatever they do.

"What I'm asking for is for everybody to get around a table, whether it's the SFA, the players' union, bookmakers, whoever.

"Let's all sit around a table and find out what's allowed, what's not allowed and then we can start again.

"Nobody here, surely, is incredibly naive to think that this is anything like a one-off situation."

Asked if the issue was betting on your own team, McCoist said: "Can we just move on to football please. I think I've said all I want to say on it."

When quizzed on why Black is the only player to come to the attention of the SFA, the Light Blues boss said: "I don't know.

"If you're asking me why the account was opened in 2006 and it's taken until 2013, I don't know the answer to that, if that's the question you are asking me. It's a valid question but I don't know the answer to it."

A zero tolerance policy is in place in Scotland, which restricts players from staking money on any football matches anywhere in the world.

Responding to McCoist's comments, an SFA spokesperson said: "The rule is clearly stated in the judicial panel protocol.

"Team staff, players, referees, or anyone else under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA, shall not bet in any way on a football match.

"If he needs further clarification on that, he can call us."

McCoist admits he was was not aware of the rules.

He said: "To be honest with you, no, I wasn't because I hadn't studied them.

"If it's in their rules, it's in their rules. I don't know if it's too strict but everybody should sit down and know the rules. Not enough people do know the rules – and I include myself in that."

Meanwhile, St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright revealed his club had incorporated the ban into their internal disciplinary rules.

The former Northern Ireland goalkeeper said: "We have it in our code of conduct. We had a chat with the players about it and it's something I think there needs to be more education on.

"Maybe the rule is clear but I don't think people realised what the rule was.

"It's something that probably goes on in the game without players thinking they are doing anything wrong by having a bet on games they are not involved in.

"They probably feel that's allowed but it isn't."

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