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Former King's Lynn Town footballer handed 10-month ban for betting breaches

A former King's Lynn Town footballer has been handed a 10-month ban from all football-related activity due to betting breaches.

Defender Joe Robinson, who now plays for Newmarket Town in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, learned his punishment during a personal hearing with the Football Association earlier this week.

The ex-Ipswich Town centre-back, who joined the Jockeys last summer from the National League Linnets, made 10 appearances at The Walks, having arrived at the club in January 2019.

New King's Lynn Town signing Joe Robinson. Picture: TIM SMITH. (38598520)
New King's Lynn Town signing Joe Robinson. Picture: TIM SMITH. (38598520)

The governing body found that a string of bets had been placed on football matches dating back to his Ipswich days in 2016 from an online account belonging to the 23-year-old, who has also played for Boston United, Bishop’s Stortford and Cambridge City.

FA rules currently stipulate that footballers, management and committee members from clubs at Step 4 and above are not permitted to bet on any football, while players from all levels cannot bet on matches in which they are involved.

The offences came to light after a leading bookmaker offered odds online for Step 5 Newmarket’s home pre-season friendly against Soham Town Rangers in July 2019, which prompted an investigation.

A bet on that particular fixture was placed from Robinson’s account, though it was subsequently cashed out before kick-off.

Nevertheless, after the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions finally allowed his case to come before the FA’s disciplinary board, Robinson will not be available for selection until April 2021.

Although he accepts that a suspension was inevitable, Newmarket boss Michael Shinn says he has been disappointed by the lack of support his player has received from the powers that be.

“I understand they have to hand out bans, but there has been no help or guidance for Joe throughout all of this,” he said.

“Nobody has contacted him or myself with advice, things to work on, people to contact or things like that to help.

"That has been disappointing and frustrating because it has been hanging over him for the last 12 months – that is a long time.

“It doesn’t sit well at all – there should be a lot more support given in this type of situation. We, as a club, will fully support Joe throughout this time.”

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