Football

Athlone Town Match 'Fixers' Set For High Court In Bid To Stop FAI Evidence

Athlone Town Match 'Fixers' Set For High Court In Bid To Stop FAI Evidence

The two former Athlone Town footballers that the FAI banned for match-fixing have submitted an application to the high court in a bid to block the FAI's new evidence and have the ban lifted while their internal appeal is ongoing.

Igors Labuts and Dragos Sfrijan were both banned from football for 12 months after they were found to be in breach of rules during the League of Ireland First Division game against Longford Town last year.

That game finished in a 3-1 victory for Longford Town and was reported to have had approximately €400,000 in bets placed on it. The majority of this stemmed from Asian betting markets.

The players are being represented by Stuart Gilhooly, who often works with the Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland. The Times are reporting the evidence includes video footage and social media posts which the player's claim has not been verified.

A three-man committee, chaired by Barry Collins, had originally found the pair guilty and issued the bans. At the time the PFAI slammed the decision and offered their support to the players. They accused the evidence of being 'flimsy.'

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In a statement, Athlone Town also challenged the ruling.

The Board of Management of Athlone Town AFC rejects the outrageous findings made by the FAI against two of the club's players.

At this stage the club supports the player's appeal against the findings and any avenues taken by the two, who strongly deny the charges, aimed at overturning these decisions.

It is our opinion that the evidence presented against the players was exceptionally flimsy, and based on opinion only.

The case is set to be heard next Friday and will take one day as long as a judge is available.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Mick McCarthy Bluntly Tells Certain Journalists Where They Should Go

Maurice Brosnan

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