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Six Elgin City players cited as Scottish FA announce raft of betting charges

Borough Briggs, home of Elgin City
Borough Briggs, home of Elgin City

Six current Elgin City players have been hit with notices of complaint after the Scottish FA announced a raft of betting charges.

Darryl McHardy, Thomas McHale, Matthew Cooper, Rabin Omar, Conor O’Keefe and Aiden Sopel have all been cited, as well as former players Shane Sutherland – now at Caley Thistle, James McGowan (Albion Rovers) and Ashley Ballam (Strathspey Thistle).

Elgin released a short statement after the citations were issued, which said: “We’ve been advised of the notices of complaint by the SFA.

“We will speak to our players, our lawyers and the SFA in order to determine the most appropriate way to proceed, and if necessary we will issue a further statement in due course.”

Also included on the charge list is Cove Rangers assistant manager Gordon Young, Deveronvale’s Robert Scott, plus Morton boss Dougie Imrie, Arbroath midfielder Gavin Swankie and former Peterhead player Bryan Gilfillan, who is now at Threave Rovers.

Sopel, Ballam, O’Keefe, McHardy, McGowan, Cooper, Sutherland and McHale all have hearings on February 11, while Scott, Omar and Young will have hearings a week later.

The citations for the 14 individuals cover the last 10 seasons in Scottish football.

Rule 31 is the most common charge on the list, which states “no club, official, team official or other member of team staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall gamble in any way on a football match.”

Sopel, McHardy, Ballam, Cooper, Omar, Scott, Young, Sutherland, McGowan and McHale have all been cited for this alleged breach.

Sutherland has also been pulled up for alleged breaches of rules 22 and 33, which also relate to betting on football, with O’Keefe cited for a supposed breach of rule 33.

Imrie, a former Caley Thistle player, was named Greenock Morton boss last month.

The 38-year-old made 70 appearances for Inverness between 2008 and 2010 before moving to Hamilton. He has been cited for a range of offences between 2011 and 2021.

A Morton statement read: “Greenock Morton can today confirm that it has received a notice of complaint from the Scottish FA compliance officer relating to alleged historic breaches of its gambling rules by our first team manager, Dougie Imrie.

“The notice relates to incidents between 2011 and 2019 while Dougie was a player.

“The club and Dougie have cooperated fully with the SFA throughout the investigation and will continue to do so. Dougie will be providing written submissions in response to the notice in the coming days.

“Dougie will have the full backing and support of the Greenock Morton board during this process.”


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