April 20 – In the latest match fixing-related case to hit English football, a lower-league player has been banned for six years for twice intentionally getting booked.
Defender Bradley Wood committed the offense during Lincoln City’s FA Cup run last season, a revelation that has turned him from hero to villain and will take the gloss off two highly successful seasons on the pitch by Lincoln who are now a League Two team.
Wood was part of the non-league Lincoln side that won the hearts of millions when they reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup – the first non-league team in 103 years to get that far – by knocking out Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley.
But the Football Association tribunal revealed that he intentionally received yellow cards against both Ipswich and Burnley.
Betting firms said there were a number of “unusual bets” being placed on him getting cautioned in each game. The FA said the amounts staked were “truly exceptional”, with one betting firm reporting they had never seen a four-figure amount staked on a player to be booked.
Wood, no longer at Lincoln but still playing lower-league football, denied the allegations but did admit to 22 charges of betting on the outcome of football matches.
An FA judgement read: “In each case those individuals’ bets were atypical both in relation to their personal betting history – none had previously placed bets in the caution betting market; and in relation to the caution betting market – the size of the bets made them stand out.”
Wood argued he was betting on behalf of his father, who was in hospital, but on a betting account in Wood’s name because his father did not have a bank card.
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