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Soccer star 'devastated' at FAI ban for match-fixing

THE Dublin soccer star banned for 18 months after a match-fixing probe fears he will never play competitively again.

Sources close to Colm James (29) have told the Herald that he is "devastated" after being found guilty of six counts of breaching FAI rules.

The Herald revealed yesterday that the Longford Town midfielder is suspected of approaching a team mate in a bid to fix a match.

But the team member told a club official and the matter was brought to the attention of the FAI in March.

Mr James was suspended and a two-month investigation was carried out by the association, along with the gardai, FIFA and UEFA.



While Mr James has not commented publicly on the ban, a source close to him last night said he believes it has ended his career.

"Collie is devastated, of course he is. He knows that having this [ban] hanging over him will make it very difficult for any club to sign him. He's in a an awful state," said a pal.

Meanwhile, the Herald can reveal that the investigation itself focused on a game that took place on March 23 at the home grounds of Finn Harps in Donegal. Longford Town lost 1-0 and the Dublin player was in the starting line up.

However, a well-placed source with knowledge of the investigation told the Herald that there is "no evidence" that this result or any of Longford Town's results were affected.

The midlands club, which is currently top of the Airtricity Division One, has yet to comment on Mr James's ban.

As part of the two-month probe, players and officials were quizzed over whether they suspected Mr James was involved in match fixing.

Mr James is entitled to appeal against the ban. He was top goal scorer for the club last year.

Longford Town have described the whole incident as "disappointing".

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