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Osasuna in Bookmaker Backlash

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Spanish football club Osasuna is coming under pressure to cut its links with a bookmaker.

The hierarchy of the club, which plays in the Spanish topflight, La Liga, have been pressured by members to end their relationship with KirolBet, who sponsor the team shirts.

Club members passed a resolution at a recent public meeting demanding that the club end all deals with that they described as ‘compromising’ bodies. At the meeting, a number of speakers criticised the deal, on the grounds that they felt a gambling enterprise should not be associated with the club.

In response, the Osasuna President Luis Sabalza has said that the club would start discussions with the Kirol Group to consider an early end to the deal, which is due to run out in 2021, but he pointed out that ending the sponsorship early could have significant consequences:

“If the assembly so wishes, we will dialogue with Kirolbet, but we must bear in mind that, in the event of a voluntary termination, we would have to pay compensation that is not quantified.” Sabalza detailed to Osasuna supporters. They could give us take to court if no agreement is reached. We will talk about what the sovereign body wants.”

The club had already made moves to reduce the prominence of its shirt sponsor. The Kirolbet logo had been removed from junior and reserve team shirts. And Osasuna fans also have the option of buying a team shirt that doesn’t include the logo.

Sports betting is big business in Spain, particularly when it comes to La Liga betting, and online betting has been regulated in the country since 2012, but it hasn’t always been popular. Back in August the Spanish government announced that it was considering introducing a ban on betting advertising that was stricter than those introduced in Australia and the UK in 2019.

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