The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has announced that it will not ban sponsorship deals between League of Ireland football clubs and sports betting companies after Shamrock Rovers sealed a deal with a betting operator this week.
The announcement comes despite growing opposition to betting sponsorship of sport in Ireland. The FAI has already decided to avoid sponsorship deals with betting operators itself.
Shamrock Rovers have announced 888 as the club’s new sponsor after a two-year deal with JD Sports was severed after one season.
Before that, FAI Cup holders Dundalk struck a deal with Bet Regal in December to replace Fyffes as the team’s main sponsor.
Asked about the FAI’s opinion on the agreements, league director Mark Scanlon said: “We’re quite happy with our own stance in relation to that. Matters for the clubs themselves are internal matters. As long as they fit within the UEFA regulation and FAI regulation, we’re happy with that.”
Scanlon was also asked if he believed league clubs being sponsored by betting companies could give the wrong message to young football supporters.
He said: “That’s internally what clubs have to decide themselves. We made our decisions within the FAI.”