Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Northern Ireland club at centre of IFA betting probe

An investigation into the claims has been launched
An investigation into the claims has been launched

By Christopher Woodhouse

An investigation has been launched into claims of a breach of betting rules at an Irish League football club.

The Irish Football Association (IFA) said it would examine allegations someone connected with Institute FC asked a friend to place a bet on Ballymena United in a match they lost 2-1.

Screenshots of a Facebook chat conversation appear to show the person asking a pal to make the bet on the Bet365 app because they don't want to get "caught and f***ed then".

The match took place on February 9 at the club's temporary ground of the Brandywell, home to Derry City.

Under strict IFA rules a player can't place a bet on any team, including his own, in any tournament or league in which that player's team competes.

Institute have been made aware of the Facebook exchange but declined to comment but an IFA spokesperson told Sunday Life its inquiries are underway.

"The Irish FA's Integrity Officer, in partnership with UEFA and the gambling industry, monitors activity on matches where betting opportunities are offered," said a spokesperson.

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"While no suspicious betting activity was flagged in respect of this match, inquiries are continuing to see if there has been a breach of the Irish FA's betting rules."

The snaps of the chat are being widely shared on social media among fans of Institute and Derry City, which plays in the League of Ireland.

The first three IFA rules leave players in no doubt about which matches they can and cannot wager a bet:

  • You are not allowed to place any bet on a game involving your club.
  • You are not allowed to place any bet on a game in a competition (such as cup competitions or the league itself) in which your club plays;
  • This includes competitions that your club is due to play in but has not yet started and competitions that your club has been knocked out of. It goes on to clarify that this also extends to bets placed via friends or other third parties.

"The reason the IFA has rules in this area is to ensure that in every match both teams and players are playing to the best of their ability and with a clear motivation to win, without any conflicting objectives for either club or any player or club official," the rules state.

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