Non-fungible tokens have become quite popular in sports and not least through the efforts of Sorare, a fantasy soccer platform that has promoted NFTs as tradable cards bearing players’ image and likeness. Now, a duo of Dutch players may be in trouble after BNR reported that Daley Blind and Davy Klaassen may have participated in inside trading on the platform.
Dutch Soccer Stars and Sorare Trading
The report names their participation in Sorare and how they bought Maarten Stekelenburg NFT tokens, while selling their André Onana NFT cards. There is nothing unusual in this per se, but Onana is Ajax’s primary goalkeeper, to which team both Klaassen and Blind belong.
Selling the Onana NFT and then buying Stekelenburg, the Ajax backup goalie, and taking his place in the game between the team and PSV Eindhoven on Sunday, April 17, raised suspicions that both players may have been privy to the expected change before it was officially revealed.
This report alone points to some sort of inside knowledge that the pair have had ahead of the game, but it does not necessarily mean that they are guilty of anything in particular. According to BNR, Dutch regulators are already on the job, but is there a crime to accuse the soccer players of? There is no law that currently governs the use of NFTs and Sorare is not exactly about “betting” on soccer, but rather collecting tokens that do not have any value outside of the platform.
Naturally, Dutch authorities prohibit athletes from gambling in games and contests they participate in, but NFTs are new enough to pose an interesting case for the KNVB, the Dutch soccer governing body. Effectively, it will be yet to determine whether Sorare’s services are in any form of gambling.
Sorare Never Considered Gambling
In fact, a similar case was already investigated in the United Kingdom, and there was nothing to suggest that Sorare’s NFT tradable cards are anything like games of chance. Sorare reminded that nobody is paid cash prizes.
However, it would be in the company’s best interest to ensure that any part it’s collaborating with isn’t in fact abusing its inside knowledge to advance in the game. BNR argues that Eredivisie, a recently-signed partner to the platform, has seen its players purchase NFTs worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Sorare has issued a statement on the matter and said that it does not condone the unfair behavior of users and partners. It’s all about ensuring that everyone gets a level playing field, the company concluded.