Scottish Premier League

Black charged with betting breach

Rangers midfielder Ian Black is accused of betting against his club three times.
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Rangers found themselves involved in another investigation on Monday night when Ibrox midfielder Ian Black was accused of betting against his own team three times as part of a charge sheet stretching back more than seven years.

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The former Inverness and Hearts player was hit with a Scottish Football Association notice of complaint involving 160 alleged breaches of rules on gambling.

Rangers quickly announced that they were conducting their own probe into the matter.

Black is accused of betting against his ''then-registered club'' three times between March 4, 2006 and July 28, 2013.

Black has also been charged with breaching the SFA's disciplinary rule 22 by ''betting on a further 10 football matches that involved then-registered club'' and ''betting on a further 147 football matches''.

It is not known which or how many clubs Black is accused of betting against. However, it is understood that the charges in general encompass his spells at each of his last three clubs - Inverness, Hearts and Rangers.

The rule in question 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 bet in any way on a football match (except authorised and registered football pools)".

The SFA confirmed 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 governing body also stated that there was no evidence to suggest any breach of rule 23, which prohibits players and officials knowingly behaving 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".

The accusations against Black, who played for Hearts between 2009 and 2012, cover a period beginning on the day he 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 spokesperson said: "The club is aware of the SFA's notice of complaint and are currently investigating the matter."

Black has until Monday to respond to the complaint with a principal hearing date pencilled in for September 12.

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