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Monday 20 November 2017

FAI: 'Athlone Town bet probe to be widened'

Athlone Town Stadium in Westmeath. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Athlone Town Stadium in Westmeath. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

The FAI will now look at more matches from Athlone Town as part of their investigation into betting irregularities.

The association had already confirmed that last week's 3-1 loss to Longford Town was under suspiction, the FAI acting on information provided by UEFA.

And last night the FAI confirmed that their probe has been widened to include at least two more of the midlands club's matches this term.

They have not yet identified the games in question but it's believed that last month's 4-1 league loss away to UCD is one of the matches in question.

The sides were level at 1-1 after 10 minutes but UCD scored twice more to lead on 67 minutes and scored a fourth three minutes from time. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of UCD.

"On May 3, the FAI announced that it had launched an investigation into Athlone Town AFC following a detailed report received from UEFA highlighting irregular betting patterns around their SSE Airtricity League First Division game with Longford Town on Saturday, April 29," the association said in a statement last night.

"The FAI has since learned - via confidential information received on Friday, May 5 - that two other games involving the club warrants further investigation.

"The FAI have contacted the club about this new information and will commence its investigation on Monday, May 8 when meeting with players, staff and officials."

A delegation from the players' union, the PFAI, has met some members of the Athlone squad in the last 24 hours and it's understood that the players have asked for the union to be present during those interviews with an FAI investigation team next week.

Athlone took on Cobh Ramblers at home last night, in front of a large media presence, with a side that showed three changes from the XI which started the game away to Longford last weekend.

Athlone picked up their fourth win of the season as they beat table toppers Cobh 2-1, Chris Rodriguez with two set-piece goals for Athlone.

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