Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The Professional Football Association of Ireland (PFAI) has been asked to represent two Athlone Town players charged with match-fixing by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). ‘The sole basis for the charges are that there were suspicious betting patterns and a panel of three experts were of the opinion that some of players actions were suspicious’, read a statement. ‘No other “evidence” whatsoever has been proffered. Indeed one of three experts states “there is not enough conclusive evidence to prove in a court of law that players conspired to affect the outcome of the game and therefore breach Rule 105”.’
In May, the FAI widened its investigation into the club to include three games, after information was submitted to the Gardaí (police) about the club’s 3-1 loss to Longford Town in Ireland’s First Division on 29 April. The club expressed disappointment with the FAI’s decision to proceed with charges against its players.
‘The board and the management committee of Athlone AFC are disappointed with the FAI’s decision to bring charges against members of the club as part of the investigation launched following the receipt of a report from UEFA’, read an 8 July Athlone Town statement posted on Facebook. ‘The club now awaits the production of all the evidence related to the allegations the individuals have been charged with from the FAI in advance of the disciplinary hearings scheduled to be heard by an Independent panel in early August’.
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