Italian FA Calls for Removal of Gambling Sponsorship Ban

The Italian Football Federation has created a list of proposals aimed at helping the football industry recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

Betting Sponsorships to Boost Football Recovery 

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has asked the country’s government to revoke a prohibition on gambling-related sponsorships until 2023 in a new report entitled Analysis and socio-economic impact of Italian professional football. The FIGC says the measure will support the financial recovery of Italian football, which was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Since the beginning of 2019, all forms of gambling advertisements in Italy are prohibited except for deals that were agreed before this date. However, the FIGC has called on the government to temporarily suspend this ban in an attempt to help the sector recover from the consequences of the health crisis. 

Pre Covid-19 figures from the report show that professional football has generated $5.94 billion in revenue, which equals 12% of the GDP of the global football industry. In addition, Italian football has made $1.66 billion in tax and social security contributions, or approximately 70% of the tax contribution generated by the entire Italian sports industry. The report further says that the total net impact of the health crisis in the two-year period between 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons amounts to more than $1.31 billion

Football Has Great Socio-Economic Importance for Italy 

The FIGC has elaborated a list of proposals, which includes the launch of a “Football Savings Fund”, whereby 1% of all online and retail sports bets in Italy would be directed to a national fund, which would finance football projects across the country. 

The proposals have been filed with the Undersecretary for Sport, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the representatives of the Departments of Economy and Finance, as well as to the Health and Economic Development. 

“We are at a crossroads; we must act quickly to prevent the professional football crisis from obliging the clubs to block their activity, thus bringing the entire sports sector to its knees, the companies of the 12 product sectors connected to it and the entire country system, with an undesirable decrease in direct and indirect tax contributions.” 

FIGC president Gabriele Gravina 

Gravina added that FIGC asks the government to recognize the socio-economic importance of football by implementing urgent measures to offset the impact of Covid-19. 

Due to the ban, Italian clubs are focusing on sponsorship deals with betting operators outside of the country. A few days ago, AC Milan inked a deal with Premier Bet to serve as the Serie A club’s official betting partner in Africa

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