Sport League of Ireland

Friday 21 July 2017

'Disgusted' Athlone Town urge Europol, Interpol and Uefa to probe match fixing allegations

Ryan Nugent

Athlone Town FC wants "parallel investigations" into alleged match fixing during their matches to be conducted by the Garda, Uefa, Interpol and Europol.

In an open letter, the board of management at the club has maintained that there is "innocence until proven guilty" but that it "will not be found wanting" in sanctioning anyone associated with the club if they are found to be involved in match fixing.

The club is under FAI and Garda investigation over allegations of match fixing and irregular betting patterns during a League of Ireland clash with Longford Town less than a fortnight ago.

It is understood that a further two Athlone Town matches are also being investigated as part of the significant probe.

Disgusted

The club's board and management committee say that they are both "disgusted and angry" that games in which they have participated may have been "unduly influenced or that match fixing has occurred".

"Indeed given the extensive media coverage and potential ramifications for our club, the league, and football's governing bodies, the Athlone Town AFC wants relevant police forces to investigate these serious allegations," the letter said.

"We want An Garda Síochána, Europol, Interpol and Uefa itself to immediately open parallel investigations to the one being currently conducted by the Football Association of Ireland.

"It is our strong opinion that no stone should be left unturned in relation to these very damaging claims.

"Athlone Town AFC will not be found wanting in regards to the sanctions it will impose if anyone associated with the club is found to have engaged in match fixing.

"If any of the allegations are upheld it is not just the club and its supporters, but also the FAI and football itself that will have been duped," it added.

The club says that it will work side by side with the FAI during the investigation.

It also insisted that all documents in relation to the club's investors have been supplied to the FAI.

"It has always been our intention to work with the FAI in relation to our affairs," the letter read.

"Indeed the FAI has received all documents pertaining to the investor agreement. That arrangement was discussed at a number of meetings with, and ratified by, the FAI."

Players and staff at the club are due to be interviewed by the FAI in Athlone both today and tomorrow - with interviews due to last between 30 minutes and one hour.

Irish Independent

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