Gardaí believe League of Ireland match-fixing probe now coming to an end

ireland
Gardaí Believe League Of Ireland Match-Fixing Probe Now Coming To An End Gardaí Believe League Of Ireland Match-Fixing Probe Now Coming To An End
A League of Ireland ball. Photo: ©INPHO/Evan Treacy
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Kenneth Fox

Detectives will today begin examining statements made by 10 men who were questioned for allegedly conspiring to fix football matches in the League of Ireland.

The 10 men were taken into custody — eight in Limerick, one in Cork and one in Dublin, aged from their 20s to their 60s — on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

All ten men have since been released without charge.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the suspects are current and former players as well as individuals not involved in the game who allegedly operated together to manipulate games and place corresponding bets.

The arrests marked the culmination of a three-year investigation by specialist officers attached to the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Unit in the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau.

The investigation was launched in 2019 after both the FAI and UEFA, the European governing league, submitted reports to gardaí regarding possible match-fixing.

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The men were expected to be released overnight or early this morning, pending a file being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

A history of match-fixing allegations in the League of Ireland

Last night gardaí released five of those arrested without charge and said a file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The five others last night remained in custody with "investigations ongoing".

Gardaí released a further four men today without charge, and a file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

One man remains in Garda custody this Thursday morning.

They did not expect any charges to be brought immediately and said the results of the statements made by the ten men would be examined and cross-checked.

They will also be analysed against evidence already gathered, including phone and financial records.

A person close to the investigation said “This is close to the end game, I would not anticipate charges now, but we will check what people say, and it will all feed back into the file to the DPP.”

Another person said the ongoing investigation focuses on "the whole integrity of the sport".

“Results of games affect placings in the League of Ireland table, and it affects what clubs qualify for European competitions.

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