The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) will be investigating a weekend match between Limerick FC and Cobh Rangers, after suspicious betting patterns were identified.
The 3-2 victory for Limerick, who were the underdogs going into the game, is to be the subject of an enquiry following the news that betting companies reported a much higher volume of betting activity on the game than would normally be expected.
Limerick were 2-0 up in the first half, and then conceded twice, before eventually finding a winner in a game in which Cobh gave away two penalties. According to reports in the Irish media, bookmakers Paddy Power and Bet365 had closed their markets on the game just before Limerick scored their first.
This is not the first occasion on which the FAI has felt it necessary to investigate in recent months. Back in 2017, there was an enquiry into a game involving Bray Wanderers, and last year, Limerick, along with Waterford, were reportedly under investigation by the FAI over a Premier Division game in October that saw a number of leading bookmakers close their markets on the match. There is also an ongoing investigation into a game on April 19 between Shelbourne and Limerick.
Reacting to the news of the FAI enquiry, the manager of Cobh Ramblers, Stephen Henderson, said that the club would be co-operating fully with the FAI:
“We are just a group of volunteers trying to run a club. We’ve done a lot of work over the past four years and we don’t want that to be damaged by anything.”
Last week, an Irish government minister confirmed that a new independent watchdog would be introduced during the next eighteen months, with responsibility for tackling match fixing and other gambling related problems, as part of the Gaming and Lotteries Amendment Bill.