Five of the ten men arrested this morning in connection with alleged match-fixing in the League of Ireland, have been released without charge.

Ten men, aged from their 20s to 60s - including League of Ireland players and officials - were arrested in a series of raids this morning in Dublin, Cork and Limerick on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

Homes were also searched.

Operation Brookweed, the investigation into alleged match-fixing, is being led by the Garda anti-bribery and corruption unit.

It began three years ago following reports of suspected match-fixing from the FAI and UEFA.

The anti-bribery and corruption unit began this investigation in 2019 when the FAI and UEFA reported their suspicions to them that some League of Ireland matches may have been fixed.

Detectives examined unusual betting patterns in a number of matches where they suspected deliberate fouls may have been committed to ensure one team lost and money was paid out.

Gardaí carried out a number of searches at the time at a sports ground in the south of the country and continued their investigation as League of Ireland players and officials all over the country were interviewed.

Detectives also viewed games and suspect that deliberate fouls may have been committed, which ensured that players were sent-off and their teams then lost the games.

The bets were made on these teams losing the games by a certain number of goals, more than one, and money was paid out on the result.

Detectives also noticed that large numbers of home fans in one part of the country were successfully betting on their own team to lose.

This occurred in a number of games. Suspicions arose that the matches had been fixed and that those placing the bets knew beforehand what the score would be.

This morning, a large force of gardaí from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, along with officers from the southern region, carried out a series of raids in Dublin, Cork and Limerick.

This evening, gardaí said that five of the men had been released without charge and a file is being sent to the DPP.

The remaining five men are still being questioned.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

The Football Association of Ireland has noted the latest developments in the garda inquiry.

In a short statement, the governing body said: "The FAI, in conjunction with UEFA, remains committed to a zero tolerance policy on match fixing. As this is now a legal matter we will be making no further comment."

After the arrests were made, detective superintendent Catharina Gunne of the GNECB said: "Match-fixing and corruption is a threat to all sports at all levels and undermines public confidence in the fairness of sport.

"It can allow organised crime to infiltrate sport in order to use it to make illicit gains or launder proceeds of crime."

Gardaí are appealing to those with any information in relation to match-fixing or sports corruption to contact them.

They can make a report in confidence to the anti-bribery and corruption confidential reporting line on 1800 40 60 80 or to their local garda station.