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Kane Hester receives eight-match ban from SFA for betting offenses

Montrose striker Kane Hester was given an eight-match ban by the Scottish Football Association (SFA) on Thursday after admitting to betting offenses.

The charges date back to the five seasons from 2014 to 2019 when Hester was a part of Arbroath and Elgin City. He was cleared of match-fixing fraud by the Dundee Sheriff Court earlier this year and went on to sign a three-year deal with Montrose in May.

He previously played four and a half seasons with Elgin City, where he scored 29 goals in 48 appearances. Hester was charged with breaching section 31 of the SFA Disciplinary Rules during this period as well as when he was signed to Arbroath.

According to SFA rules, all players, coaches, and club staff were barred from placing bets with online sports betting sites on any matches. The regulation states that “no club, official, team official or other member of team staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall gamble in any way on a football match.”

According to the initial notice of complaint, Hester violated SFA regulations on multiple occasions between August 13, 2014, and April 27, 2019, including both dates. The athlete was suspended in full after admitting to the offenses.

Hester will be able to return next season as long as he steers clear of breaking disciplinary rule 31 again during the campaign.

The SFA’s move to suspend Hester aligns with previous actions by the English Football Association (FA). The FA issued an eight-month ban on Brentford striker Ivan Toney in May for 232 breaches of the FA betting regulation.

Toney was barred from training or playing with the English team until January 17, 2024. He was also given a fine of £50,000 ($62,000) and a warning about his future conduct. The initial penalty of 11 months was reduced after the FA was informed that Toney was struggling with gambling addiction.

A similar incident also happened in May when Accrington Stanley defender, Mitch Clark, was discovered to have violated the FA gambling regulations and placed 312 bets on football matches. Clark was released from Accrington Stanley while the FA decided on his punishment.

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