Kane Hester, a striker for Elgin City in Scotland, has denied being involved in a betting scheme to defraud bet365 of £13,583.
The footballer is accused of taking part in a plot with three men from Montrose in which he agreed to stomp on a Hibernian FC player in order to get booked by referee Willie Collum during a match at Borough Briggs, Elgin City’s home ground.
Hester was given a yellow card after finishing the on-pitch foul during the Scottish Betfred League Cup match on July 26, 2019, and his suspected co-conspirators – Findlay Soutar, Calvin Parrot, and Brodie Myers – received £17,333.32 in bet365 fees, winning £13,583.32.
Plotting a penalty
The four men are accused of plotting a week before the conference to get Hester to purposefully commit a penalty during the match and obtain a booking from the referee.
The striker’s suspected accomplices are accused of making five different bets on Hester being booked during the game, but they refute the allegations that they intended to win money “by placing bets that Kane Hester would receive a booking by the referee during the match.”
The four men, who are scheduled to testify in Dundee Sheriff Court later this year, have denied all charges.
Irregular betting behaviour in football
The charges against the Elgin City striker come as international sports bodies continually concentrate on honesty, with the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) claiming this year that irregular betting behaviour in football rose by 25 percent from 2019 to 2020.
FIFA, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, unveiled its Global Integrity Programme last month in response to the growing challenge of organised crime and betting violence of football’s integrity (UNODC).
FIFA President Gianni Infatino said at the time of the launch: “Match-fixing is an issue that is very real and threatens the integrity and credibility of football in many countries around the world.”