FAI: dismissed allegations

PADDY Power was forced to suspend betting on an Irish football league following claims of leaked information about a pending disciplinary action against a club.

Sheriff YC, which was docked 10 points by the Athletic Union League (AUL), claims details of the sanction were released to members of rivals Killester United before it was officially informed.

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has dismissed accusations it failed to investigate the claims.

Paddy Power confirmed that bets were placed on a Sunday last year backing Killester to win the league; Sheriff YC would have been a rival for the title before the club was docked points.

Betting was suspended the instant the bookmaker was made aware of the deduction, which was to be officially announced the following day.

Sherriff YC says it is frustrated that such information could be leaked, while efforts to raise the matter with both AUL and FAI officials proved fruitless, it said.

"I would like to see the FAI stamping out betting on junior football. It's an amateur game and this sends out the wrong signal," said a club spokesman.

The FAI said it had encouraged the club to submit its concerns in writing and that it would have immediately investigated had it done so.

Although the betting pattern was confirmed by Paddy Power, the AUL said the issue of leaked information was simply "hearsay".

"It's coming from them [Sheriff YC]. No one else has approached us so we can't comment on it," said league president Tony Martin.

In a statement, Killester said it had no knowledge of bets being made by anyone associated with the club.

A spokesman for the bookmaker said the revelation of a points deduction would have shortened the odds on Killester to win the league from 6/4 to 1/3 but added that the level of betting was not of concern.