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Match-fixing in Irish football: tougher penalties called for

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Last week, Irish police arrested ten people suspected of match-fixing in the League of Ireland, Ireland’s top football league. Now there is a clamor for severe punishment. According to media reports, the Irish football association, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), is said to have spoken of a life ban if convicted.

Last Wednesday, the daily reported, among other things Irish Examiner [Seite auf Englisch]Many famous football players were arrested. Ten men, aged between 20 and 60, were arrested in Limerick and Dublin. They were charged with fraud revealed to him as part of “Operation Brookweed”.

Operation Brookweed is said to have started in 2019. European football association UEFA passed the Irish Football Association to the FAI in response to information about unusual game results and betting patterns. Police sources said the probe was related to “the integrity of the sport as a whole”. The results of the affected games will affect the League of Ireland. This will affect how clubs qualify for European competitions.

A total of 60 games affected by rigging and betting fraud?

Officials initially believed they had discovered suspicious betting patterns in two games involving Limerick FC. However, as The Irish Sun reports on Monday, a total of 60 games could be at risk. The matchup could have been extended four more seasons accordingly, going into 2016.

All those arrested were later released. However, if the suspicion is confirmed, the concerned footballers will face severe punishments. A spokesman for the FAI told the Irish Sun:

“The FAI and UEFA have a zero-tolerance policy towards match-fixing and anyone found guilty of match-fixing in the ongoing investigation will face the heaviest punishment possible.”

A lifetime ban from professional football is possible. However, football associations are not the only ones demanding such a harsh punishment. Stephen Bradley, manager of Irish football club Shamrock Rovers, also favored it.

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He explained that such incidents are not necessary in any sport and especially not in football. However, he pointed out that these are isolated cases and that the Irish Football League is characterized by positive events rather than such negative ones.

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