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League of Ireland pair suspended for 'manipulating matches' have appeals thrown out

Athlone Town’s Igor Labuts and Dragos Sfrijan were handed 12-month suspensions in 2017.

A general view of Athlone Town Stadium.
A general view of Athlone Town Stadium.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

ATHLONE AFC DUO Igors Labuts and Dragos Sfrijan have had appeals regarding 12-month bans from football-related activity for “manipulating matches” rejected, it was revealed today.

An Independent Disciplinary Appeal Committee met to hear the appeal from the two players and Labuts’ was rejected, while Sfrijan’s was dismissed due to non-attendance.

The bans stem from an investigation into irregular betting patterns involving Athlone during their clash with Longford on 29 April of last year.

The pair had been found to be in breach of:

  • Rule 99: Bringing the Game into Disrepute
  • Rule 105: Manipulating Matches
  • Rule 106: Betting / Gambling

Igor Labuts Athlone's Igor Labuts in action against Shelbourne last May. He was one of two Athlone players handed a 12-month ban in September 2017. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Bans were handed out on the basis that the FAI had found “clear and overwhelming betting evidence that the course or result of” Athlone’s game against Longford had been “unduly influenced with a view to gaining corrupt betting profits”.

Two other games involving Athlone had been investigated but no charges were brought forward due to “insufficient evidence” found around those games.

A statement today from the FAI reiterated: “The FAI has a zero tolerance policy to match-fixing.”

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