Saturday 19 August 2017

FAI: Show us your phones - Athlone players to supply bank details and phones in betting probe

 

Officials from Athlone have called on An Garda Síochána, UEFA and Interpol to launch their own enquiries parallel to the FAI’s investigation. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Officials from Athlone have called on An Garda Síochána, UEFA and Interpol to launch their own enquiries parallel to the FAI’s investigation. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Members of the Athlone Town squad have agreed to hand over phone records and bank account details to the FAI in an attempt to prove their innocence in the investigation into suspicious betting movements around their game with Longford.

Two days of FAI interviews with players and officials of the First Division club were completed yesterday as Abbotstown chiefs explore allegations of match-fixing arising from irregular betting patterns.

The FAI are expected to confirm their next move before the end of this week - possibly as early as today. They are examining if any breaches of the association's rules have occurred.

In addition to the face-to-face questioning, it's understood that some of the Athlone squad were asked if they could hand over phone and bank details and they all indicated they would be willing to do so.

The focus of the interviews was the events leading up to and around the April 29 First Division encounter with Longford Town.

UEFA informed the FAI of irregular betting patterns around goals scored in that game - a 3-1 win for Longford - and that was the catalyst for the interviews with club employees.

Subsequently, the FAI confirmed that two other games were being looked into, stating they had received 'confidential information' that had broadened the scope of their enquiry.

The games in question are a pair of Athlone defeats in other fixtures; a league match with UCD on April 8 and another meeting with Longford - an EA Sports Cup encounter - on April 4.

Athlone players have requested further information on the specifics of the question marks hanging over those matches before taking questions on them.

Integrity

Therefore, the FAI's Competitions Director and Integrity Officer Fran Gavin and Disciplinary Regulations Officer Rea Walsh have primarily spoken to the Athlone squad and officials about the league date with Longford.

Representatives of the Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland (PFAI) have been on hand in Athlone to provide advice to the seven professional members of Athlone's squad - all of whom hail from outside Ireland.

And the FAI have indicated that they will offer on update on the status of their probe in the next 48 hours.

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

Officials from Athlone have called on An Garda Síochána, UEFA and Interpol to launch their own enquiries parallel to the FAI's investigation.

Whatever happens, change is coming down the tracks at Athlone with former boss Roddy Collins waiting in the wings to take over as manager.

Collins led the club to promotion from the First Division in 2013 and is expected to bring in his own men.

That will cast doubt on the future of Athlone's foreign legion including their caretaker Portugese manager Ricardo Cravo who arrived when the club received an injection of funds from their mystery investors earlier this year.

Irish Independent

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