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Rangers' Ian Black faces 160 SFA charges for illegal betting

Rangers midfielder Ian Black was today issued with an SFA notice of complaint, alleging that he had been involved in 160 cases of illegal betting on matches.

The alleged offences stretch over a period dating from 4th March 2006 to 28th July 2013, during which time Black also played for Hearts and Inverness Caley Thistle.

The SFA did not spell out which clubs were involved in each case.

Three of the charges relate to betting on the clubs he was playing for not to win.

Ten others relate to games involving his club at the time.

Black, 28,  is also charged with betting on a further 147 football matches.

He faces a hearing onThursday, September 12 and has until Monday August 26 to respond to the complaint.

The charges relate to Disciplinary Rule 22: "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 bet in any way on  a football match (except authorised and registered football pools)."

The SFA confirmed today that the ban applied to any football match anywhere in the world. The range of punishments includes a fine, suspension or expulsion from the game.

The SFA said there was no evidence of a breach of Disciplinary Rule 23: "No club, official, Team Official, other member of Team Staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall knowingly behave in a manner, during or in connection with a match in which the party has participated or has any influence, either direct or indirect, which could give rise to an event in which they or any third party benefits financially through betting."

Black, who made his international debut for Scotland in August last year, began his career as a youth player with Tranent Boys' Club and was a trainee with Blackburn.

He joined Inverness Caley Thistle in July 2004, signed for boyhood heroes Hearts in July 2009, and left for Rangers last summer after the Tynecastle club slashed their wage bill.

Black famously worked as a part-time painter and decorator in December 2011 to help pay bills when his Hearts wages were overdue.

On the first date mentioned in the notice of complaint, Black played 90 minutes for Inverness in a 1-0 home defeat by Motherwell, which cut Caley Thistle's lead over the Lanarkshire side to three points in the race for a top-six place in the Scottish Premier League.

The final date in question saw the 28-year-old score in a 4-0 Ramsdens Cup victory for Rangers against Albion Rovers.

A Rangers spokesman said the club was aware of the SFA notice of complaint and was currently investigating.

The club's website says of the player: "Combative midfielder Ian Black was Ally McCoist's first signing in the summer of 2012 as Rangers looked to start their journey on the road back to the top.

"A hero at Hearts after his exploits in helping them secure the Scottish Cup just a few weeks earlier, Black made his debut initially as a trialist in Rangers' 2-1 victory over Brechin in the Challenge Cup.

"He arrived at Ibrox having first had a spell with Inverness Caley Thistle, where he established himself before moving on to Gorgie in 2009.

"There, he became a favourite with the Hearts faithful and was renowned for his combative style.

"He became a fixture in the Rangers midfield early in the season, teaming up with youngster Lewis Macleod.

"He made his Scotland debut in the dying minutes of their match against Australia in August 2012."

Contextual targeting label: 
Football

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