Aussie Footballer tells Fox Sports he wanted addiction kept quiet

19 04 2010

[Here’s an article by Christopher Boyd of Fox Sports about an AFL player who had a long term gambling addiction problem.  Now the problem has become public and the player has expressed his desire to have this matter remain private…]

Brisbane Lions full-forward Brendan Fevola has revealed in an exclusive interview with Fox Sports that he never wanted his gambling addiction revealed to the general public.

In a tell-all interview with his manager and Fox Sports commentator, Alastair Lynch, Fevola denied his problem had impacted on his football but said he would have preferred that the issue remained private.

“I don’t think it really needs to be spoken about much more than this interview,” he said.

“I didn’t really want it to come out to the public forum but that’s the way footy is these days.

”(The story’s) been around for a while, I’ve been punting since I was about 16 or 17.

“I’ve probably been working through it since early February. I think if you’re a punter you don’t really want to admit that you are a punter.”

Meanwhile, Lynch said that reports of the extent of Fevola’s debts had been grossly exaggerated, saying the rumour about his car being repossessed was “absolutely false”.

“That’s totally wrong. The numbers I know of, and I’m sure they’re the right numbers, it’s certainly less than $100,000,” Lynch said.

“It’s substantial money, but we’re not going anywhere near the numbers that’s been discussed in the Press.”

Fevola’s gambling revelations are just the latest episode in the life of one of the AFL’s most colourful characters, coming just a week after he was cleared by the AFL of any wrongdoing in the Lara Bingle naked photo scandal.

But Fevola said he had been buoyed by the support he had received since going public.

“It’s been amazing. (I’ve been) a little bit surprised because I get knocked a bit which is probably my own fault,” he said.

“(But) I feel a little bit better that it’s come out. It impacts on every part of life … I’ve been pretty fortunate that it hasn’t really impacted on my footy.

“When I cross that line you’re in footy mode.”


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