Irish players arrested for match-fixing

Trio of former underage Republic of Ireland internationals questioned by police but not charged


Three former Republic of Ireland underage internationals, Graham Cummins, Stephen Dawson and Keith Keane, are amongst a group of seven players arrested on Thursday in connection with an investigation into spot fixing in football and subsequently bailed.

In common with the others who have been questioned by police, the three deny any wrongdoing but their careers could be ended if they are charged and found guilty of the offences which involve the influencing far less significant aspects of a match than the result for betting purposes, by picking up a yellow card or conceding corners for instance.

Six of the players arrested this week, including Keane and Cummins, who is currently on loan to Rochdale, are contracted to Preston while Dawson plays for Barnsley. A spokesman for Preston said that: “We are disappointed that individual player names are in the public domain given that none of these individuals have been charged with any offence.

“Having had time to meet with all the individuals concerned we reiterate our position that all players will remain available for selection by the manager and that until or unless the current situation changes it will be business as usual.”

Cummins, a 26-year-old striker from Cork previously played for Cobh Ramblers, Waterford united and Cork City before moving to England in 2012. Keane is Luton born and spent most of his career with his hometown club before moving to Preston. Dawson, meanwhile, is a Dubliner who had spells at Leicester, Mansfield town and Bury before joining Barnsley.

Ongoing investigation
The arrests form part of an ongoing investigation by Britain’s National Crime Agency which had previously involved the detention of six players in December, the best known of whom was Blackburn Rovers striker DJ Campbell. He too denies any wrongdoing.

“It’s really disappointing news,” said Stephen McGuinness, general secretary of the PFAI, which has, along with the FAI, done a great deal of work to counter the threat of match fixing in Ireland. “We hope there’s nothing to it.”

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