Tom Beary/INPHO The game in question took place last Saturday.

FAI launch investigation after irregular betting patterns in League of Ireland game

Uefa sent a detailed report to the FAI after the game between Athlone Town and Longford Town.

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION of Ireland (FAI) has launched an investigation into the conduct of Athlone Town AFC after irregular betting patterns were highlighted during a recent league game.

A Uefa report into irregular betting patterns on international markets during the SSE Airtricity League First Division game between Athlone and Longford Town on Saturday 29 April was presented to the association yesterday.

Longford won the match in question 3-1 thanks to Enda Curran’s hat-trick at the City Calling Stadium.

In a statement released this evening, the FAI say a copy of the Uefa report has now been submitted to An Garda Siochana and players, coaches and officials of Athlone Town will be interviewed.

“If the investigation determines a breach of FAI rules, charges will be issued and the matter will be heard by the FAI Disciplinary Committee, in accordance with FAI rule,” the statement reads.

“The FAI has been monitoring the club since it received information from Uefa following an inquiry by FAI Competitions Director, Fran Gavin, prior to the start of the 2017 season

“The FAI remains in regular contact with Uefa and will be seeking further information.

“On March 29, Mr Gavin delivered an Integrity Workshop presentation to the Athlone Town AFC senior squad and coaches on the prevention of match-fixing and betting, in his role as FAI Integrity Officer.”

Athlone received financial backing from Portuguese investors before the start of the season, which has resulted in a number of overseas players being brought in.

They have responded to the news with a statement released this evening, which reads:

“The board and the management committee of Athlone Town AFC are absolutely shocked by the content of documentation forwarded to us by the FAI and Uefa concerning out recent First Division game against Longford Town.

The club absolutely abhors match-fixing and would never knowingly get involved in such unacceptable activity.

“The club will be fully co-operating with those conducting the investigation, and look forward to meeting with FAI officials next week.

“Should any of the allegations be upheld, the club will take action against any wrongdoers.”

Currently managerless following the sacking of Ricardo Monsanto after just 42 days in the job, they are seventh in the First Division and host Cobh Rambers this Friday.

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