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Thread: FAI charge members of Athlone Town over match fixing

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    FAI charge members of Athlone Town over match fixing

    Athlone Town AFC 1887-2017

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    International Prospect Ezeikial's Avatar
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    International Prospect outspoken's Avatar
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    Ridiculous that we have to wait a month for the next step. This needs dealing with now

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    Seems the FAI don't actually have any evidence if you believe the PFAI. I'd well believe that they need to find someone to blame regardless of having sufficient proof against any individuals and it'd be interesting to see what CAS make of it if it goes there.

    https://theleagueofireland.com/2017/...-athlone-town/
    Last edited by Longfordian; 08/07/2017 at 9:58 PM.
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    Embarrassing head in the sand statement of slander and prejudice from the PFAI. This is from the union that have still yet to make any statement four years on about their member Colm James' 18 month ban for attempted match fixing
    The Leinster Senior League needs a strong Bohemians

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    If, if, all the FAI have is the betting patterns and the video footage then I can't see that standing up in the long run. Don't get me wrong it was clearly fixed but proving the involvement of specific individuals will be difficult. How do you prove that it wasn't just incompetence? The guys that fixed this game have done it before and bigger organisations than the FAI haven't proved anything.
    "He mightn't always be right but he's never wrong"

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    Apprentice Oldred's Avatar
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    Who are the 'members' being charged? Are they 'members' of the playing staff, 'members' of management or 'members' of the adm. of the club?
    Very vague statement.

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    Three players, one of whom is amateur, and one other person charged according to Dan McDonnell.
    Last edited by Longfordian; 09/07/2017 at 2:21 PM.
    "He mightn't always be right but he's never wrong"

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    International Prospect Martinho II's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfordian View Post
    Three players, one of whom is amateur, and one other person charged according to Dan McDonnell.
    wonder that other person is he a certain ex mgr/caretaker mgr of theirs that had to leave ireland suddenly for personal reasons?
    Daire Doyles red and black army

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    Reserves ATFC-1887's Avatar
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    A petition has been set up. Every signature helps

    https://www.change.org/p/football-as...share_petition
    Athlone Town AFC 1887-2017

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    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems the PFAI are throwing out red herrings claiming that the FAI’s evidence won’t stand up in court. This isn’t going to court: Athlone and its players are in a private members' association (for want of a better phrase) with FAI and UEFA rule books that they agreed to be bound by. Those rule books have a lower threshold of evidence than criminal proceedings incourt. If the FAI applies the rules systematically with due process for those concerned the only appeal against an adverse finding is the first step on the road to CAS, not the courts.
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    This amateur player involved is then a local? As I understood all the foreigners were paid to play in the club.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Briuk View Post
    This amateur player involved is then a local? As I understood all the foreigners were paid to play in the club.
    Yeah certainly looks like the amateur player involved has to be Irish. Indo article below from May quotes seven professional players on the squad are from outside Ireland, exactly seven non-Irish have played for them this season (Grigorovs, Hernandez, Invernizzi, Labuts, Rodrigues, Sfrijan, Viegas)

    http://www.independent.ie/sport/socc...-35694328.html
    The Leinster Senior League needs a strong Bohemians

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    I think the club should be charged as then there only has to be evidence of strange betting patterns and unusual results on the field to support the unusual betting patterns.
    You'd have to have good compelling evidence to prove an individual player was at fault.

    Athlone were performing better when they were trying to lose games, I see even Shelbourne are ahead of them now.

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    Capped Player DannyInvincible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eminence Grise View Post
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems the PFAI are throwing out red herrings claiming that the FAI’s evidence won’t stand up in court.
    They were quoting one of the FAI's selected "experts". The "expert" was quoted as saying that "there is not enough conclusive evidence to prove in a court of law that players conspired to affect the outcome of the game and therefore breach Rule 105". Granted, the PFAI did state the following:

    "For such charges to be levelled, the evidence against [the players concerned] should be overwhelming."

    That appears to be a normative expression of PFAI preference for a particular judicial procedure or evidentiary threshold - the PFAI being an external and independent representative organisation attempting to exert moral pressure upon the FAI, of course - rather than a descriptive clarification as to what would be legally correct or in strict accordance with the specific rules of UEFA and/or the FAI that apply in cases of suspected match-fixing.

    Just quoting the most startling bit of the PFAI statement:

    "The sole basis for the charges are that there were suspicious betting patterns and a panel of three experts were of the opinion that some of players actions were suspicious. No other “evidence” whatsoever has been proffered. Indeed one of three experts states “there is not enough conclusive evidence to prove in a court of law that players conspired to affect the outcome of the game and therefore breach Rule 105”.

    The allegations that have been made against these players are of the most serious nature. There is nothing more damaging to a players integrity. For such charges to be levelled, the evidence against them should be overwhelming. Unless there is further evidence which the FAI is with-holding, basing charges of this nature on these two players on the subjective opinion of two out of three people, watching TV footage and hand picked by the prosecutor, the FAI, is astonishing."

    Whether it complies with the FAI's own rules or not, it does nevertheless seem rather astonishing (from a purely ethical sense) that:

    i) the FAI - under the watchful eye of UEFA and in whose interest it now is, as investigator and prosecutor, to resolve the matter satisfactorily by finding whatever evidence of wrongdoing they can, charging suspected parties and punishing them if found guilty - selected an apparently non-independent and non-transparent panel of three so-called "experts" who, already loaded with the heavy and prejudicial knowledge that suspicious activity had occurred, were tasked with cherry-picking from video footage instances of play that they, in their wholly subjective opinions, perceived to constitute "evidence" of wrongdoing.

    ii) the shared view of a mere two (and not even a unanimous three) of these "experts" that charges would be justified against certain players is being treated now by the FAI as tantamount to incriminating "evidence".

    That the subjective judgments of two of the panel members would be deemed sufficient enough "evidence" to charge players of wrongdoing in the complete absence of any other incriminating information or material does seem extraordinary and unconscionable. Who were these supposed "experts" and what is the exact nature of their "expertise"? What qualifications enabled them to make reliable and conclusive determinations of this nature, if it is even possible to make a reliable and conclusive determination in a case like this at all?

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    Audio of Tony O'Donoghue interviewing PFAI solicitor Stuart Gilhooly about the match-fixing allegations surrounding Athlone players: https://www.facebook.com/SoccRepubli...6275680478178/

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    DI, ethics and morality have nothing to do with this from a legal standpoint. They're red herrings. That the process is transparent and applies rules fairly is important. (How confident am I that that will happen? We'll see....) The PFAI are clearly engaging in agenda-setting and denigrating the process as their first line of defence: the FAI experts are not impartial, not even expert, and not even convinced by the evidence as this carefully-selected fragment of communication from them suggests - so our members cannot get a fair hearing in a court of law (where, of course, this case wouldn't be heard anyway) and have to take their chances in the FAI kangaroo court, with the only appeal to the UEFA drumhead court martial.

    Neither you nor I (and probably nobody else on this site) know who the experts are. Maybe they're JD's drinking buddies, or maybe they're barristers. Or the ghost of Paul the Octopus. Or investigators or actuaries who work with bookies on matters such as this. Or retired coppers. Or bent coppers (apparently in plentiful supply at the moment!) As for deciding to bring charges, there needs only be a belief that there is sufficient evidence to warrant a full hearing, at which those accused have the right to hire legal representation to mount a full and robust defence. The experts themselves do not and cannot attribute guilt. And maybe that presumption of innocence is why none of the accused have been publicly named in any official documentation.

    Encasing expert in quotation marks denigrates both their status and the status of the process - which, I suspect, quite pleases the PFAI, who are doing what any organisation would to protect members' interests, even if it means playing the man not the ball - but seems a little OTT given that we know absolutely nothing of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eminence Grise View Post
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems the PFAI are throwing out red herrings claiming that the FAI’s evidence won’t stand up in court. This isn’t going to court: Athlone and its players are in a private members' association (for want of a better phrase) with FAI and UEFA rule books that they agreed to be bound by. Those rule books have a lower threshold of evidence than criminal proceedings incourt. If the FAI applies the rules systematically with due process for those concerned the only appeal against an adverse finding is the first step on the road to CAS, not the courts.
    On soccer republic Gilhooley said that they were prepared to fight it all the way to CAS, which is a court within the confines of sport, and if necessary the legal courts. If these players are denied a livelihood because of a decision based on insufficient evidence then they probably have every right to sue the FAI.

    I don't know how you can prove match fixing conclusively. That's why some players carry a dodgy reputation around with them but are still allowed to play. In Athlone.

    Allegedly.

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    Like the Fonz. Only a dog. Mr A's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's so difficult to make it stick, very difficult for the authorities. They'd need to be very silly to have any payments received recorded anywhere they handed over bank statements for.
    #NeverStopNotGivingUp

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    Quote Originally Posted by derm View Post
    On soccer republic Gilhooley said that they were prepared to fight it all the way to CAS, which is a court within the confines of sport, and if necessary the legal courts. If these players are denied a livelihood because of a decision based on insufficient evidence then they probably have every right to sue the FAI.
    All well and good, but CAS is an arbitration court for settling disputes, not a criminal court governed by national legislation and a constitution that guarantees rights. AFAIK, sporting disputes tend to go this route before national courts will hear them, unless there has been a clear, prejudicial breach of process. If there is insufficient evidence the players should be exonerated. Nobody could disagree with that. But even circumstancial evidence can be damning if there is enough of it. And the point I've been trying to make is that the FAI/CAS route has a lower threshold of evidence than criminal law (beyond reasonable doubt) - something like 'the preponderance of evidence' which simply means that in all probability the evidence is true. I rather think it would suit the PFAI to have criminal trials as we have a lousy record of prosecuting corruption here and acquittals are more likely, whereas the sports court route is far more risky for those charged.

    Quote Originally Posted by derm View Post
    I don't know how you can prove match fixing conclusively.
    And neither do any of us here, I'll wager (if that's not an unfortunate turn of phrase!) But that's why there are organisations like Federbet who use actuarial analysis of betting patterns - http://federbet.com/match-fixing/ . They seem fairly clued-in for boffins - http://federbet.com/about-us/ - you'd hope that the FAI would have their number on file somewhere! (I know, hope and FAI in the same sentence...)

    I'd be genuinely interested if somebody could give a bit of background on it. I'd agree with Mr A that it's unlikely the players had accounts helpfully named Swag deposit A/C and Bribes current A/C in the local AIB!
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