Thursday 23 November 2017

Dundalk's Conor Clifford handed six-month ban from football for gambling on games

Conor Clifford training with Dundalk, lifts the Youth Cup with Chelsea (inset left) and (right) in action for Ireland
Conor Clifford training with Dundalk, lifts the Youth Cup with Chelsea (inset left) and (right) in action for Ireland Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former Chelsea youth player Conor Clifford has been banned from football activity after he pleaded guilty to gambling on games during his time in the UK.

Clifford, who currently plies his trade with Dundalk, was handed a six-month ban by the FA and that was extended to a worldwide ban by FIFA.

A statement from Dundalk this evening said: "We have been informed by the English Football Association that, having pleaded guilty to charges of gambling on football matches during his time as a player under their jurisdiction, Conor Clifford has been banned from playing in England for six months with immediate effect.

"This ban has been extended by FIFA to cover all football activity worldwide.

"The charges all refer to a time before Conor signed for Dundalk Football Club and there is no suggestion at all that he continued to place bets after joining the club.

"Since we were made aware of this matter we have co-operated fully with the Football Association in their investigation.

"These events took place during an unhappy period of Conor’s time in England. The club have assisted Conor throughout this process and will continue to provide appropriate support.

"Dundalk Football Club fully supports efforts to maintain the integrity of the sport to ensure that players and officials do not place bets on any matches."

The 26-year-old was captain of a Chelsea FA Youth Cup winning side  in 2010 during his time in England and had loan spells at Plymouth, Notts County, Yeovil Town, Portsmouth and Crawley Town.

A statement from the FAI read: "The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that Dundalk FC player Conor Clifford has received a six-month worldwide suspension from all football-related activities for betting offences.

"The player is suspended from October 3, 2017 through to April 2, 2018 and was fined £600 by the English Football Association for 112 breaches of FA Rule E8, in which he admitted the charge. All offences were committed in the United Kingdom.

"The ruling by FIFA was communicated to the FAI on Friday, October 6."

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