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Athlone Town’s Jason Lyons handed seven-game suspension over betting

Offences unrelated to game that saw two players banned for a year

Athlone Town forward Jason Lyons has been handed a seven-match ban after being found guilty of betting offences. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Athlone Town player Jason Lyons has been suspended for seven games by the FAI after being found guilty of betting offences unrelated to the club’s game against Longford at the end of April.

Lyons is believed to have bet on games in which he was not a participant and there is no suggestion of any attempt to influence results directly or indirectly but the breach of the rules came to light as the association investigated allegations of match-fixing against Igors Labuts and Dragos Sfrijan.

Each of the pair was suspended for a year earlier this month and they are currently awaiting the hearing of initial appeals with both the players and the Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland apparently intent on pursuing the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if necessary.

Lyons, meanwhile, will miss this Friday’s game at Cabinteely, next week’s against UCD and the opening five club games of next season. The FAI is also currently investigating whether the recent friendly between Bray Wanderers and Waterford might have been improperly influenced by any of the Bray players.