‘Piegate’ scandal sees soccer goalkeeper at heart of furore given ban and fine

  • Keeper said to have ‘influenced betting markets’
  • Wayne Shaw maintains stunt was ‘a bit of fun’

The goalkeeper at the center of a soccer scandal in the UK this year has been handed a £375 ($491) fine and a two month ban from football, the BBC reports.

Wayne Shaw has been fined for eating a pie at a football match. No crime there, but unfortunately he was found guilty of breaching FA betting rules, as a bookmaker had offered odds on the unlikely event happening.

Former Sutton United keeper Wayne Shaw was alleged to have interfered with a betting market by gobbling a pie, whilst being aware that a betting firm was taking wagers on him doing just that. Shaw had denied the charge.

The incident, somewhat humorously referred to as ‘Piegate’ happened during the fifth-tier club’s dream FA Cup tie with Premier League giants Arsenal in Feburary.

FA takes action on Piegate affair

Just days after Shaw ate a pie on the subs bench and became a national hero in the process, it emerged that he was aware of bets being taken on his pie-eating antics.

Though he maintains that it was actually a pasty he ate and all bets should have been void, the FA decided that action should be taken against the player for the serious offence of betting market interference. Shaw resigned from the club just days after the match.

Following an investigation by the FA, a hearing was held this week which found Shaw guilty of breaching the Association’s gambling rules. He is liable for a £375 fine, and has incurred a two-month ban – though as Shaw no longer plays, the ban is in name only.

Struggles for keeper after ‘bit of fun’

Speaking several months after the pasty drama unfolded, Mr Shaw told reporters how a little joke became a catastrophic event that has affected his entire life – despite receiving a positive response from supporters at the time. “The media, the whole country thought it was just a good bit of fun, and that’s all it was,” said Shaw.

After being told that he would face disciplinary action for his mid-match snack, Shaw resigned from his beloved club and slipped into a period of depression. “I was in tears. I’ve never been sacked, or resigned, in 32 years… I wasn’t sleeping right, I could feel myself getting stressed. I’ve still got that knot in my stomach,” he shared with the press last summer.

“I’ve got to try and pick up the pieces and get myself working again.”

‘Piegate’ payout highlights why action was taken

Shaw certainly commands plenty of sympathy from the public.

The dream match-up against Arsenal would always have been the most memorable day in the keeper’s football career – but what should have been a happy memory is now a very sour one.

But the issue of gambling within soccer is a serious one.

Players have received six figure fines for their involvement in betting, and earlier this year Joey Barton was handed an 18 month football ban for placing bets on matches.

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