Saturday 16 December 2017

FAI charge 'members of Athlone Town' over match fixing investigation

Jack O'Toole

The FAI have charged members of Athlone Town FC in relation the club's match-fixing investigation where the League of Ireland club were at the centre of a Gardai investigation after reports of irregular betting patterns involving some of the club's games.

The Association launched an investigation into the First Division club at the start of May after it received a detailed report from Uefa highlighting irregular betting patterns around the club's SSE Airtricity League First Division game with Longford Town on Saturday, April 29.

Six-figure sums, believed to be in the region of €400,000, were wagered on the game between the two sides on the Asian betting markets.

The association then widened their investigation to include Athlone's match on April 9 against UCD, which an insider described as a "carbon copy" of the loss to Longford Town, with UCD's last goal coming after 89 minutes, and an earlier game against Longford in the EA Sports Cup on April 4, a game Athlone lost 4-3 after leading 2-0.

The FAI's investigation lasted over a month with the association charging members of the club for bringing the game into disrepute, manipulating matches and betting and/or gambling on matches.

An FAI statement on the matter read:

"The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that charges have been brought against members of Athlone Town AFC as part of the investigation launched following the receipt of a detailed report from UEFA.

"The charges have been brought under the FAI Rules:

- Rule 99: Bringing the Game into Disrepute

- Rule 105: Manipulating Matches

- Rule 106: Betting / Gambling

"A hearing with the Independent Disciplinary Committee will take place on August 3."

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