Belfast Telegraph

Sam so sorry

Banned Coleraine star Sammy Morrow last night spoke of his regrets over the football betting offences that landed him a six-month FIFA ban and £1250 fine.

The 25-year-old insisted: “I want people to know I wasn't punished for match fixing or anything like that.”

Former Northern Ireland Under 21 international Morrow, from Limavady, landed in trouble with the world governing body by breaking FIFA rules on betting during a six-month spell at his former club Derry City last year. He admitted 17 offences of betting on an undisclosed number of League of Ireland games that he played in for Derry City.

Half his six-month ban was suspended in return for his co-operation with the inquiry which accepted his plea of ignorance and found no sinister intent.

A chastened Morrow said as he began his suspension last night: “I hold my hands up and I know now what I did was wrong, but at the time I didn’t know I was doing wrong.

“I would also like to tell people I wasn’t punished for match fixing, nothing like that – it was just because I was betting on League of Ireland football and I broke a rule.

“This has been an obvious worry and I haven’t been able to concentrate fully on my football.

“I have to say it has been a serious weight on my shoulders, knowing that this investigation was going on in the background and then worrying what the verdict was going to be.”

For the full story, see this week's Sunday Life.

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