Boston United

The Football Association has suspended and fined two Boston United players after they were charged with betting misconduct.

Midfielders Andi Thanoj and Jay Rollins were both charged with misconduct in relation to betting in August 2020, after it was found that a total of 757 bets were placed on football matches over a six year period.

The pair breached FA Rule E8, which states that a participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any football match, or any matter concerning football in the world.

Thanoj was charged with misconduct after 319 bets had been placed on football matches between September 2014 and May 2020, while Rollins was charged after 438 bets were placed on football matches between September 2015 and February 2020.

Andi Thanoj was given a £950 fine and a five month suspension from all football and football related activity, while Jay Rollins was banned for one month and fined £500.

It is unclear whether the players were betting on matches they were directly involved in or on other football games taking place across the globe, but both have been hit with fines and suspensions for their actions.

Rollins is Boston United’s longest serving player, having joined in July 2015, while Thanoj is also somewhat of a stalwart at the club, joining the Pilgrims in December 2017 after beginning his career at Grimsby Town.

A spokesperson for the football club said: “Boston United acknowledge the Football Association bans from football handed out to contracted players Andi Thanoj and Jay Rollins.

“The bans relate to historical breaches of FA betting rules as part of a wide-ranging investigation across non-league football.

“Clearly, we are very disappointed with the situation as the club has clear policies regarding betting. The club will make no further comment at this stage.”

In more positive news for the Pilgrims, they have been given a home draw for the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, where they will face Southern League Premier Division Central side Stratford Town on Saturday, October 16.

Football clubs around the country have been paying tribute to a 17-year-old player who died after collapsing on the pitch during an FA Youth Cup match last week.

Dylan Rich, a player for West Bridgford Colts, collapsed in the fifth minute of the club’s preliminary FA Youth Cup fixture with Boston United on Thursday, September 2.

The game at Regatta Way in Nottinghamshire was quickly abandoned and East Midlands Ambulance Service arrived with police and an air ambulance to assist the player.

Rich tragically died in hospital on Sunday, an incident which his club West Bridgford has said will leave everyone involved “devastated and heartbroken.”

In a statement released on Sunday, the club said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents Mike and Anna, his sister Lucy and Dylan’s family, friends and teammates.

“The club would like to thank everyone within the Colts and wider football community for the hundreds of heartfelt messages and thoughts that we have received over the past few days.”

Boston United, who were also involved in this fixture, issued a statement of their own in which they offered support to people who saw the collapse.

A spokesperson for the club said: “Boston United are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of West Bridgford youngster Dylan Rich.

“The Pilgrims’ thoughts are firmly with the Rich family at the present time – as well as all at West Bridgford FC.

“United will offer any support necessary to their own young players –  and staff – who witnessed Thursday’s tragic incident.”

Lincoln City were quick to pass on their condolences, tweeting in reply: “Our thoughts are with Dylan’s family, friends and everyone at West Bridgford Colts. Rest in peace, Dylan.”

The English Football Association also paid tribute, saying: “Everyone at the FA is deeply saddened by the tragic news. We would like to recognise the courageous response of all those who reacted quickly to the situation at the FA Youth Cup fixture on Thursday evening and we thank the emergency services for their efforts.”

A freelance journalist who was at the game tweeted that the player had suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch.

An FA Youth Cup game involving Boston United had to be abandoned on Thursday night after an opposition player suffered a medical emergency.

The match between West Bridgford Colts and Boston United at Regatta Way in Nottingham on Thursday, September 2 was called off shortly after kick-off when emergency services were called to the scene.

The game was due to start at 7.45pm, but reports of a player being “seriously unwell” prompted East Midlands Ambulance Service to be called to the football pitch at 7.50pm.

A spokesperson for EMAS said: “We received a call at 19.50 today to a medical emergency in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire.

“We sent two ambulances and a fast response car, and the air ambulance was in attendance. We transported one patient to the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, by land ambulance.”

In a club statement issued on Thursday night, West Bridgford Colts FC said: “We can confirm that there was a medical incident tonight during our FA Youth Cup game against Boston United.

“Emergency services were called out to our Regatta Way ground after a player became seriously unwell and they are now undergoing treatment in hospital.

“We would ask that you respect the privacy of those involved at this time and we will comment further when we feel it is appropriate to do so.”

Boston United Academy posted their well wishes for the player on Friday morning, saying: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the player involved, his team mates and club.”

One freelance journalist who was at the fixture last night took to Twitter to explain what he saw, praising the football club for their “professional” handling of the situation and comparing it to Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest incident at Euro 2020 this summer.

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