Bucs' Chaine in hot water after viral 'betting' video

Pirates promise internal probe but claim footage was in jest

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Sipho Chaine.
Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Sipho Chaine.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

Orlando Pirates have launched an internal investigation to establish if any of their players are involved in betting after a video of their goalkeeper Sipho Chaine, insinuating he was about to place a bet, surfaced on social media this week.

In the viral video apparently taken from within the Pirates ranks or dressing room, someone is heard in the background saying, "Sipho I want you to bet now" and Chaine replied by  saying "straight win R600". The goalkeeper further said he was going to bet on only two teams with one of them being last Sunday's epic English Premiership match between Manchester United and Arsenal. There are several Pirates personnel in the video, but Chaine is the only clearly visible player. It is unclear who took the video.

As much as they've instituted internal inquiry and insist they understand the seriousness of breaching betting regulations, Pirates downplayed the genuineness of the content of the video, saying it was taken in jest. Fifa strictly prohibits professional players from betting and anyone caught could face a ban of up to three years and a hefty fine, or both.

"The club has noted a video circulating on social media involving two of our players discussing betting. We would like to clarify that the players in the video did not place any bets," read Pirates' statement on Wednesday.

"The video captured a light-hearted moment among teammates purporting to have placed a bet on an English Premiership match. As a club, we are fully aware of the regulations regarding betting. Betting on any sport is strictly prohibited for any professional player.

"The players recognise their error in judgment and have since apologised. However, due to the seriousness of this matter, the club has instituted its own internal investigation to ensure that no player is involved in any form of sports betting as this would constitute a breach in the club handbook that all players are signatory to."

Fifa statutes state "those bound by the organisation's code of ethics, namely all officials, referees, players as well as match agents and intermediaries are subject to the code as follows; they are forbidden from participating in, either directly or indirectly, betting, gambling, lotteries or similar events or transactions related to football matches or competitions and/or any related football activities".

According to article 26 of the Fifa code of ethics, "the following conduct can be subject to an integrity investigation, which can lead to a fine of at least CHF 100,000 (R2m)  and a ban on taking part in any football related activity for a maximum of three years."

In March last year, Brentford striker Ivan Toney was banned from football for eight months after he accepted breaking betting rules. Toney was also charged £50,000 and warned about his future conduct for 232 breaches of the FA's betting rules.

Safa and PSL weren't immediately reached for comment.

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