Former Athlone FC players granted a temporary High Court injunction

Two professional footballers suspended for 12 months after being found guilty of influencing the result of matches they played in have secured a temporary High Court injunction over the Football Association of Ireland’s intention to introduce new evidence against them in their appeal.

The FAI had intended to introduce new evidence against former Athlone Town players - Igor Labuts and Dragos Sfrijan - including newspaper reports, a redacted statement from someone who played with Sfrijan, and social media extracts.

The FAI handed down 12 month bans to both players after finding them guilty of three offences: Rule 99 - Bringing the Game into Disrepute; Rule 105 - Manipulating Matches; and Rule 106: Betting/Gambling. The charges related to Athlone’s game against Longford Town in the SSE Airtricity League First Division on April 29.

The Professional Footballers Association of Ireland (PFAI ) came out strong in defence of the players at the time the ban was handed down, questioning the methods used in investigating the allegations against them and the evidence that resulted from that investigation. The association said at the time that it would be supporting both players in their fight to clear their name. Earlier this month the two players made the first moves to appeal the decision.

The case is expected to be heard next week.

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