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IFA probes Warrenpoint and Crewe cup tie after suspicious betting claims

By Adrian Rutherford

Suspicious betting activity around an Irish Cup tie is under investigation, it has emerged.

The Irish FA said it was probing allegations linked to the match between Warrenpoint and Crewe United on Saturday.

Warrenpoint beat the Mid-Ulster League minnows 5-0 to progress to the quarter-finals of local football's top knock-out competition.

Warrenpoint, who play in the Championship, two divisions above Crewe, were 3-0 up with just over half an hour played.

However, it has emerged that concerns over unusual betting activity were raised ahead of the tie at Milltown.

In a highly unusual move, the match delegate read a pre-prepared statement to both teams and officials about inappropriate betting.

An Irish FA spokesman said the matter is being fully investigated.

"Following a report from a betting company of suspicious betting activity, the match delegate read a pre-prepared statement to both teams and officials containing advice regarding inappropriate betting," he said.

"The matter is under investigation by the Irish Football Association and a report will be submitted to the Disciplinary Committee."

A spokesman for Warrenpoint said: "Warrenpoint Town can confirm that a statement about betting was read to both sets of players prior to the game on Saturday.

"We have had no further contact from the Irish FA regarding any investigation.

"The board of Warrenpoint cannot condone any illegal betting.

"We fulfil our duties in educating players and staff about the rules regarding betting."

Attempts to contact Crewe United FC were unsuccessful.

Warrenpoint had been expected to progress and the tie was a one-sided affair.

Conor McMenamin bundled in the opener and Stephen Murray supplied a fine finish to make it 2-0. Philip Donnelly cracked a shot into the bottom corner to make it 3-0 after 33 minutes.

In the second half Liam McKenna fired home to make it four, before Curtis Dempster completed the rout late on.

The Irish FA has a code of conduct on betting in football.

Players are told they cannot:

• Place any bet on a game involving their club;

• Place any bet on a game in a competition (such as cup competitions or the league itself) in which their club plays. This includes competitions that their club is due to play in but has not yet started and competitions that their club has been knocked out of;

• They are not allowed to place a bet on a game or competition in which they have any influence, either direct or indirect;

• They are not allowed to bet on any under-18 matches, or ask or instruct anyone to place any of the bets above on their behalf.

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