10 men have been arrested in conection to a League of Ireland match fixing investigation

10 men have been arrested in conection to a League of Ireland match fixing investigation

GARDAÍ have arrested ten men in connection to match fixing allegations in the League of Ireland.

The investigation carried out by anti-bribery and corruption unit of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau is known as Operation Brookweed.

Those arrested range in ages from their 20s to 60s . Their homes were raided Dublin, Cork and Limerick. They were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

The operation started three years ago following reports of suspected match-fixing from both the FAI, Ireland's governing body, and the world governing body UEFA.

The men have been detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at various stations in the Southern Region and Dublin Metropolitan Region.

Detective Superintendent Catharina Gunne of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said: "Match-fixing and corruption is a threat to all sports at all levels and undermines public confidence in the fairness of sport.

"It can allow organised crime to infiltrate sport in order to use it to make illicit gains or launder proceeds of crime.

According to RTÉ, detectives examined unusual betting patterns in a number of matches where they suspected deliberate fouls may have been committed to ensure one team lost and money was paid out.

Losing certain games by a certain number of goals, and money paid out on the result has also been investigated

Another factor noticed was that large numbers of home fans in one part of the country were successfully betting against their own team to lose.

This occurred in a number of games; suspicions arose that the matches had been fixed and that those placing the bets knew beforehand what the score would be.

The FAI has released a statement via press release saying: "The Football Association of Ireland notes the latest developments in the Gardaí enquiry into alleged match fixing."

"The FAI, in conjunction with UEFA, remains committed to a zero tolerance policy on match fixing. As this is now a legal matter we will be making no further comment."

Gardaí are appealing to any persons who have any information in relation to match-fixing or sports corruption to contact them at 1800 40 60 80 or via their local garda station.