Italian football asks for two-year lifting of betting sponsorship ban

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August 4 – The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has called on national regulators to temporarily lift the betting sponsorship and advertising ban to allow clubs and the league an opportunity to recoup lost revenue.

Gabriele Gravina, President of the FIGC, said: “We are at a crossroads; we must act quickly to prevent the professional football crisis from obliging the clubs to block their activity, thus bringing the entire sports sector to its knees, the companies of the 12 product sectors connected to it and the entire country system, with an undesirable decrease in direct and indirect tax contributions.”

“We did not ask the government for refreshments, rather to recognise the socio-economic importance that football has through the adoption of some urgent measures to relieve the clubs from the crisis generated by COVID-19. Football can play a decisive role in Italy’s overall recovery.”

The ban ad bn in Italy began on 1 January 2019, and covered all betting company marketing including product placements, distribution of branded items and influencer marketing. Italian clubs can do deals with betting sponsors outside of Italy.

The FIGC wants a two-year (minimum) lift of the ban until 30 June 2023. It has also argued for the creation of a Football Savings Fund (basically an additional betting tax), also with an end date of 30 June 2023, which would see 1% of all online and in-person sports bets in Italy sent to a national fund managed by the FIGC.

“We did not ask the government for refreshments, rather to recognise the socio-economic importance that football has through the adoption of some urgent measures to relieve the clubs from the crisis generated by COVID-19. Football can play a decisive role in Italy’s overall recovery,” said Gravina.

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