Three players from the Limavady United team have been given lengthy bans after their involvement in a football betting scandal was revealed, in which they were all found guilty of betting on one of their Championship One matches. They bet on their team losing against Dergview – and with the final score 2-0 in Dergview’s favour, a bookmaking firm reported irregular betting activity from the three.
We already know that sports gambling in Ireland is popular, but the three players took it too far by breaking the Irish Football Association rules – which clearly state that players are not permitted to place bets on a game when it involves their own club. They were subject to an IFA probe and were suspended by Limavady as soon as the investigation began, with vice chairman of the club David Brewster revealing that they had informed players of the IFA rules on betting.
“A club representative had to attend the disciplinary hearing with the three players,” said Brewster.”We were able to show that we had complied with our obligations in informing players what they were and what they were not allowed to do. The club was exonerated.”
Trevor Parkhill, Richard Close and Laurence McCormick are the three who broke the rules, and they have each been penalised: Defender Close and goalkeeper McCormick were found to have brought the game into disrepute and to have improperly sought to influence the outcome of a game, for which they have been banned until the 1st of January 2014 and the 1st of February 2014 respectively. Striker Parkhill was found to have brought the game into disrepute only, and was banned until the 1st of October 2013. While these bans may not seem lengthy enough to some, they are sure to have an impact on their long term careers: Close has already left the club and both McCormick and Parkhill have their amateur contracts running out in May, so it may well be that they find themselves looking very hard for a place in another team. With Limavady currently running ninth in the second tier of Irish League football, this could be a great opportunity that they have thrown away.