Wigan five-a-side competition aims to tackle problem gambling

Arouna Kone Foundation 5-A-Side Tournament at the Powerleague Soccerdome, Robin Park
Arouna Kone Foundation 5-A-Side Tournament at the Powerleague Soccerdome, Robin Park

Wigan will host a new five-a-side football competition backed by a host of ex-England internationals which aims to tackle problem gambling.

Charity Gamble Aware has launched the #BetRegret Cup to raise awareness of the dark side of having a flutter and is bringing one of the regional qualifiers to the Powerleague Soccer Dome at Robin Park.

Teams will battle it out at 26 Powerleague centres across the country for the right to play a star-studded line-up of ex-England professionals.

The charity, which aims to reduce the harm of gambling in Britain, hopes to encourage football fans across the country to think about their behaviour while betting.

Its BetRegret campaign, launched earlier this year, found 63 per cent of young male sports betters think there are too many opportunities to have a wager and 67 per cent thinking it is easy to get drawn into making impulsive bets.

The five-a-side tournament is specifically targeting men aged 18 to 34.

Teams will battle it out at venues including Wigan for their place at the national finals in London.

There the regional winners will enjoy a dream match against a team made up of goalkeeper David James, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Calton Cole, Glen Johnson and Paul Konchesky, who have 152 international caps between them.

Wright-Phillips said: “The Bet Regret campaign has come at an important time; you only have to watch football on TV to see how many betting adverts there are, and how easy it is to place impulsive bets that you might immediately regret.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the #BetRegret Cup and encouraging a lot of young lads to think about their betting behaviour in the future.”

The BetRegret Cup also has the full backing of The Football Supporters’ Federation.

Regional heats will run at the Powerleague centres from July 2 to 28, with the final taking place in Shoreditch in London on August 4.

Register to play at www.powerleague.co.uk/tournaments/betregret

Entrants to the five-a-side tournament must be over 18.

More information about problem gambling and tackling it can be found at BeGambleAware.org/BetRegret