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FAI bans two players following match-fixing investigation

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has suspended two players for a year following a match-fixing investigation relating a second-tier clash in April.

Igors Labuts and Dragos Sfrijan have each been banned for 12 months after the Athlone Town pair were found guilty of breaching three FAI rules.

Both played in the 3-1 league defeat at Longford Town on April 29 - Sfrijan netting for Athlone - but an investigation was subsequently launched, with the FAI releasing details of the duo's punishment on Thursday.

"On May 3, an investigation was launched following a UEFA Betting Fraud Detection System report demonstrated 'clear and overwhelming betting evidence that the course or result of' Athlone Town's game against Longford Town in the SSE Airtricity League First Division on April 29 'was unduly influenced with a view to gaining corrupt betting profits'," a statement read.

"Upon receipt of the UEFA BFDS report, the FAI conducted a full investigation which included conducting interviews with relevant personnel, reviewing match footage and obtaining the opinions of football experts - a final report was prepared and charges were issued.

"The Independent Disciplinary Committee met on Monday, September 4 and ruled that Athlone Town AFC players Igors Labuts and Dragos Sfrijan were in breach of three FAI rules:

- Rule 99: Bringing the Game into Disrepute 
- Rule 105: Manipulating Matches
- Rule 106: Betting / Gambling  

"Following the Committee's findings both players have been banned from all football-related activities for 12 months.

"The FAI has a zero tolerance policy to match-fixing."