FAI release latest update on Athlone Town Investigation

The FAI have provided an update on their investigation into Athlone Town FC. The Football Association had earlier confirmed that it had launched an investigation into Athlone Town AFC upon the receipt of a detailed report from UEFA highlighting irregular betting patterns in the SSE Airtricity League First Division game against Longford Town on Saturday, April 29.

The governing body have confirmed that they have written to players, coaches and officials at the club outlining arrangements for interviews which will be held on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Monday,

The FAI have also confirmed that they have made further contact with UEFA to establish more detail on the irregular betting patterns contained in its report to the FAI.

UEFA has confirmed that the biggest movements in betting took place on Asian markets.

Meanwhile there was Disappointment for Ireland Under 17’s in their UEFA European Under 17 Championship opener in Croatia yesterday as a late goal resulted in the Irish youngsters suffering a 1-0 at the hands of Serbia.

Colin O’Brien’s side went down to the Serbs in Kostrena as Zeljko Gavrić’s header eight minutes from time gave Serbia a vital three points.

Serbia had the lion’s share of possession in the opening period, with Ireland looking dangerous on the counter attack. Rowan Roache had Ireland’s best effort of the first half forcing Milos Gordic into a flying save from his 30 yard free kick.

Aaron Connolly was introduced by O’Brien at the interval and had an immediate impact. Connolly turned Aleksander Kostic inside out before a lunge by the Serbian defender took Ireland’s top scorer down. Referee Anastasios Papapetrou, however, waved away the furious appeals for a penalty from the Ireland players and supporters.

Connolly again went close to breaking the deadlock after 65 minutes. Serbia could only half clear a long ball over the top. Connolly found space 20 yards from goal and his right footed effort came back off the post.

Disaster struck for Ireland late in the game when Zeljko Gavrić met Mateja Zuvic’s corner to head the ball clinically into the far corner.

Ireland continued to press but ultimately couldn’t restore parity with Sunday’s game against Bosnia & Herzegovina now more important than ever.

Speaking after the game, Ireland Head Coach Colin O’Brien said, “Overall I think a draw would have been a fair result. In the first half we were probably second best, but we were still in the game.  We were a bit too tentaive in the early stages until we settled a bit towards the end of the half.

“Second half, for the first 20 minutes, I thought we were very, very good. We got into some positive positions and I think we should have had a penalty. Then we got done by a set play late in the game.

“It’s this group’s first defeat since the beginning of the qualifying campaign. It’s important we stay together and work out a plan for Sunday’s game. That game has become really important because if we are going to try and progress in the tournament we are going to have to win.”