Coleraine striker Sammy Morrow has warned fellow players throughout the province to make sure they check the rule book before making their weekly trip to the bookmakers.
The ex-Derry City man, who has been banned for the remainder of the Carling Premiership season, after admitting to FIFA that he placed bets involving League of Ireland teams while he was playing at the Brandywell.
However since his punishment, the Limavady man has broken his silence and now wants to warn any player, on either side of the border so that they don’t make the same mistake he did.
“I have to say it was a shock whenever it all came out, because I never knew I was doing anything wrong at the time, especially whenever the FAI haven’t sent a rule-book up to Derry City in the last 10 years,” said Morrow.
“To be honest a lot of players and people involved in football, I don’t think, know that they can’t bet in their own league, and that’s the law I broke, betting in the League of Ireland football.
“I want to warn players, north and south of the border that you aren’t allowed to bet on teams in the same league you play in, because if you do and you are caught, like me, then you are going to get a ban. I have been given a three month ban and a three month suspended sentence where I’m not allowed to gamble on football matches in that time and to be honest it’s music to my ears, I haven’t done a football bet in months.
“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, which doesn’t allow that and every time I pulled on a Derry shirt I gave my all and I tried to win the match. I have been a winner my whole career and I wouldn’t have got to where I have got to without being a winner, so this certainly has painted me in a bad picture but hopefully the truth will set the story straight.”
One of Morrow’s ex-team-mates at the Brandywell Gareth McGlynn must also wait to see if he, too will receive a ban, after he admitted that he was the second Derry City player under investigation.
McGlynn, now at Bohemians, didn’t know he was breaking any rules when he bet on Cork v Wexford Youth on August 25, 2008; Dundalk v Sligo Rovers on May 29, 2009; St Patrick’s Athletic v Sligo Rovers on May 29, 2009; Kildare v Longford June 5, 2009.
“As is patently clear, I was not a player for any of these clubs at the time and had no involvement in the matches in any way,” said McGlynn in a statement released through the Professional Football Association of Ireland. “I had no knowledge relating to or influence over the outcomes of these matches and it, in fact, merely resulted in me losing money.
“At the time that I placed these bets, I was not aware of the full text of Rule 100. I genuinely believed that the rule simply prohibited me from betting on matches involving my own club.”