Richard Caborn: Gambling within sport a serious problem – ESPN FC
Former sports minister Richard Caborn labelled gambling within sport a “serious problem” after Wayne Shaw’s pie-eating stunt in Sutton’s FA Cup clash with Arsenal.
The 46-year-old reserve goalkeeper handed in his resignation on Tuesday as he prompted a betting probe after he was shown on television tucking into the snack towards the end of the 2-0 loss.
Discussing gambling within sport on BBC Radio 5 live, Caborn said: “It is a serious problem. People are jesting about it, particularly the incident the other night, but there’s a very serious question underlying this, and the responsibility of the gambling industry itself.
“It’s not just football — we’ve seen what’s happened in cricket, in snooker. You can in many sports.
“This is an area of some concern about the integrity of sport. If we are going to see the central point, as an ex-sports minister, I would be saying, ‘The integrity of sport is absolute — it should not be compromised.’
“We’ve seen that, whether it’s been in anti-doping, now gambling — you don’t have to throw the result, but you are creating a situation which is not fair on the playing field.”
Sutton held their own against a strong Arsenal side, only for manager Paul Doswell to be left dealing with the fallout of Shaw’s antics.
The departing keeper admitted after the match he was aware Sun Bets — who also sponsored Sutton’s shirts for the night — were offering 8-1 on him to be shown eating in the dugout during the game.
Both the Football Association and Gambling Commission announced independent investigations into the stunt, which Doswell felt had taken something away from his players on the biggest night of most of their careers.
“Wayne has offered his resignation to the chairman this afternoon and that has been accepted. It’s a very sad end to what was a very good story,” he said.
“He’s absolutely devastated — tears down the phone this afternoon. There’s no joy and nothing good coming out of this particular situation for him.
“It’s taken the gloss off my players’ performance and gone on to something it shouldn’t have gone on to. I feel very sorry for the players in many regards that that spotlight has been taken away from them.
“It was an honest error but one that’s had quite sad ramifications. Wayne’s been swept along with what’s happened in this last three or four weeks.”
The FA announced on Tuesday that it will launch an inquiry to determine whether Shaw breached its gambling regulations.
There could also be fall-out for the bookmakers, with the Gambling Commission confirming its own investigation into the incident to decide whether Sun Bets had breached its licence requirement by offering such a bet in the first instance.