Is it legal for a player to bet on himself or on his team to win? to lose?

For example, could a player from Chelsea FC bet that his team will win the Champions League next year? Or could Cristiano Ronaldo bet that he will be the top scorer of La Liga next season?

This is not soccer specific, I am asking in general, is it legal for an athlete to bet on him or herself at all?

Is there any precedent for this?

  • In many places this is both criminalised and/or prohibited by the regulations of the sport you're playing in. It changes from country to country. If you're after specific legal advice, Sports SE is probably not the best place to ask. Jul 22, 2015 at 3:44
  • 2
    I asked out of curiosity after I saw a character in a TV show basically do this. Not seeking legal advice.
    – farid99
    Jul 22, 2015 at 4:21
  • 1
    Thanks for the clarification. I don't know a lot about it, but I'm sure someone here will be able to give you a better answer than I could. All I know is that it's something you shouldn't be doing. Jul 22, 2015 at 4:28
  • I'm not sure if you're focused on "on oneself" as being somehow less bad or not. If you are, I would say that it is clearly more bad.
    – Joe
    Jul 22, 2015 at 14:06
  • From a logical perspective, betting on oneself to lose is as issue as it creates a conflict of interests / would be simple to acheive. I can`t see any reason why betting on oneself to win should be an issue though; since both objectives are then inline.
    – JohnLBevan
    Jul 23, 2015 at 7:01

2 Answers 2


According to the FIFA Code of Ethics, players, coaches and all people involved on football is forbidden to place bets:

25 Integrity of matches and competitions.
Persons bound by this Code shall be forbidden from taking part in, either directly or indirectly, or otherwise being associated with, betting, gambling, lotteries and similar events or transactions connected with football matches. They are forbidden from having stakes, either actively or passively, in companies, concerns, organisations, etc. that promote, broker, arrange or conduct such events or transactions.

The FIFA Code of Ethics covers Chelsea and Real Madrid players as well.

The English PFA (Professional Football Association) is very clear in its site:

Put simply the main message for players is: 'You are not allowed to place ANY bet on ANY football, ANYWHERE.'


In the UK, this is not illegal (i.e. you wouldn't face criminal charges for doing so), but it is against the rules of just about every sporting governing body to do so - any player or official of a club who does so risks hefty fines and/or bans. See for instance:

(I make no comment about other countries because I don't know the situation there).


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