Carrick defender Gareth McKeown says he was ‘completely in the wrong’ over a breach of Irish FA betting rules.
The 32-year-old, who claims he was unaware of the exact details of the IFA and Northern Ireland Football League policy on gambling, held his hands up at a meeting of the Association’s Disciplinary Committee on Wednesday evening. He has been banned for the rest of the season and fined £1,000.
McKeown was found to have breached Article 17 of the Articles of Association (bringing the game into disrepute) as evidenced by a breach of Regulations 45 and 46 (b) of the Irish FA Football Regulations.
The bet was made while McKeown was a player for Glenavon and concerned a Lurgan Blues reserve team game against Glentoran Seconds.
“I can do no more now,” he said in an interview with The Sun. “Since I was given my ban and fine, I have looked at the IFA website to see what the rules are and this is a mistake I will never make again.
“The one thing the Disciplinary Board made very clear was that there was no suggestion of match-fixing or anything like that.
“It wasn’t as if I had placed a bet on my own team to lose, the bet was for Glenavon Reserves to beat Glentoran Seconds.
“Either way, I now know that I was completely in the wrong.”
McKeown will be given the opportunity to appeal the punishment but as yet no final decision about that has been made.
He added: “I’ve been playing Irish League football at the highest level for 14 years but I wasn’t aware of the ins and outs of the rules.
“I would never dream of betting against my team but it is much more complicated than that.
“I should have known the rules but didn’t. If this saves other players from being in the same position then there has been some good to come out of it.”