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Saturday, December 13, 1997 Published at 09:26 GMT

Sport: Football

Suspended ban for Grobbelaar and Segers
image: [ Hans Segers and his wife after the court case in August ]
Hans Segers and his wife after the court case in August

A Football Association hearing has given Bruce Grobbelaar and Hans Segers a suspended ban for breaking betting rules.

Both goalkeepers admitted misconduct. They have also been asked to pay £4,000 costs.

The FA said they were guilty of a serious breach of its rules which could have carried a £10,000 fine and a six-month ban from the game.

But it decided to suspend the sentences for two years because both players' careers had been blighted during a criminal investigation which found them innocent of match-fixing.

Now both can continue their football careers - with the FA's suspended sentence hanging over them.

[ image: Bruce Grobbelaar -
Bruce Grobbelaar - "happy to resume my career"
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Grobbelaar indicated he was available to interested football clubs. "I shall wait for offers and although I'm not as fit as I should be it won't take me long to get that fit again," he said.

Since the criminal trial, Grobbelaar has kept links with the Zimbabwe national side and has been helping Sheffield Wednesday and Oxford United on a short-term contract.

Segers has been a reserve keeper at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The FA ordered an inquiry after evidence the two men gave during their Crown Court trial at Winchester in August.

Grobbelaar and Segers were acquitted of conspiring to fix matches for a gambling syndicate based in Asia.

Former Wimbledon striker John Fashanu and a Malaysian businessman, Heng Suan Lim, were also cleared.

However, the case raised concerns about players assisting in betting on matches - other than in authorised football pools.

Grobbelaar and Segers told the trial they gave advice about the likely outcome of matches.

The FA set up its own inquiry which concluded that existing regulations on betting were being disregarded by people connected with the game.

It focused on the practice of spread betting, which allows punters to put money on anything from the time of the first goal or throw-in to how many free kicks there will be in a game.

Concerns over spread betting came to light after a match last May, in which a throw-in after just two seconds allowed people who had bet on the time of the throw-in to win large multiples of their stake.

Bruce Grobbelaar speaking after the FA issues a suspended ban

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