Athlone Town duo Igors Labuts and Dragos Sfrijan formally lodge … – The Irish Sun

Case for defence

Should they prove unsuccessful the pair face a long drawn-out process in a bid to clear their names

ATHLONE TOWN duo Igors Labuts and Dragos Sfrijan have formally lodged appeals against their 12-months bans — but should they prove unsuccessful the pair face a long drawn-out process in a bid to clear their names.

They had until yesterday to lodge their appeal after the suspensions were handed down last Thursday for breaching three FAI rules, including Rule 105 relating to match manipulation around their 3-1 loss to Longford Town on April 29.

Banned duo Dragos Sfrijan and Igors Labuts

Banned duo Dragos Sfrijan and Igors Labuts

New written submissions must now be presented before tomorrow, with the FAI having 15 days to convene an independent disciplinary committee to review the evidence.

But appealing to the FAI is really just like asking for a second opinion. No new evidence can be presented by either side, meaning the FAI will again highlight Uefa’s betting fraud detection system, which tracked irregular betting patterns.

Uefa’s document deduced from the bets that: “There is clear and overwhelming betting evidence that the course or result of this match was unduly influenced with a view to gaining corrupt betting profits.”

The FAI will also again use the evidence of one ex-player, Tony McDonnell, and one ex-manager, Damien Richardson, who believed there were cases to answer having reviewed the video footage in conjunction with having knowledge of the Uefa report.

The players’ case will revolve around the opinions of Pat Dolan, Alan Cawley, Richie Sadlier and Dan Connor, who reviewed the game without having seen the Uefa report and saw no abnormalities.

Should the bans be upheld, the duo have vowed to take the case further. The next step is an independent arbitrator who will be someone outside of football picked by the FAI, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport providing one further avenue.

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