Six-month ban for Clifford over UK gambling breaches
Dundalk's Conor Clifford has been banned from football activity for six months after he pleaded guilty to gambling breaches during his time in the UK.
The player is suspended until April 2 of next year and was fined £600 by the English Football Association for 112 breaches of FA Rule E8, in which he admitted the charge. All breaches committed in the United Kingdom.
Clifford (26), who was an FA Youth Cup-winning captain with Chelsea in 2010, is out of contract with Dundalk at the end of the season and has struggled to make an impact with the League of Ireland side after his move home.
It's understood that a large number of the bets in question were small accumulators that failed to yield a positive return.
One bet involved his former club Boreham Wood but the midfielder was not involved in the game in question.
A statement from Dundalk last night 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."
Clifford had loan spells at Plymouth, Notts County, Yeovil Town, Portsmouth and Crawley Town when he was at Chelsea and then had brief spells at Leicester, Southend, Barnet and Boreham Wood before relocating to Ireland.