SEVEN of the men arrested this morning in connection with an ongoing investigation into alleged match-fixing in the League of Ireland are footballers or former footballers.
he Irish Independent can reveal that of the 10 men arrested in the “highly complex investigation”, two are still playing football in the League of Ireland.
Five of the arrested men have retired from playing football.
Among the three arrested men who were not players, one is a close relative of an arrested former player.
Senior sources say a club is “at the center of the investigation” being carried out by the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Unit at the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB).
The GNECB has been working on the case for almost three years.
“What has been investigated very closely is all types of suspicious bets over the course of a number of games, including goals scored, goals conceded, fouls, number of corner kicks and other bets,” a senior source said.
“This was a highly complex investigation, with a number of phones being seized and then analyzed, and there was a massive trawl of gambling records,” the source added.
It is understood that two games played in 2019 in particular were the focus of the investigation.
No arrests were made, but a number of devices were seized, which were examined by special detectives in a process that lasted more than two years.
This morning the GNEB held what it called a ‘Day of Action’ in relation to alleged match-fixing in the Senior Football League of Ireland.
As part of the planned operation in the Southern Region and Dublin metropolitan areas, 10 men ranging in age from their early 20s to their 60s were arrested and a number of residential buildings were searched as part of “Operation Brookweed”.
Gardaí said the operation was supported by staff from the Limerick and Cork City divisions.
Investigators said the men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit common law fraud and are currently being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at various stations in Dublin’s southern and metropolitan area.
Gardaí said the operation was the result of an investigation carried out in 2019 by investigators from the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Unit after reports of alleged match-fixing were received from the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). .
In a statement, the FAI said: “The Football Association of Ireland takes note of the latest developments in the Gardai investigation into alleged match-fixing.
“The FAI, in cooperation with UEFA, remains committed to a zero-tolerance policy on match-fixing. As this is now a legal matter we will not comment further.”
Referring to today’s operation, GNECB Detective Superintendent Catharina Gunne said: “Match-fixing and corruption are a threat to all sports at all levels and undermine public confidence in the fairness of sport.
“It can allow organized crime to infiltrate sport to make illegal profits or launder the proceeds of crime.”
Gardaí urges anyone with information regarding match-fixing or sport corruption to get in touch.
Members of the public may provide information confidentially to the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Confidential Reporting Line at 1800 40 60 80 or your local Garda Station.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/league-of-ireland/seven-footballers-are-among-those-arrested-in-connection-with-match-fixing-in-league-of-ireland-41662795.html Seven footballers are among those arrested in connection with match-fixing in the League of Ireland