The Scottish Football Association (SFA) confirmed on Wednesday bookmaking chiefs were investigating irregular betting patterns surrounding a red card awarded in a Scottish Premier League match on Tuesday.
Motherwell’s Steve Jennings was sent-off seven minutes from time in a 2-1 defeat by Hearts at Fir Park for apparently using foul language at referee Stevie O’Reilly after the official refused to give a penalty when Alan Gow tumbled over in the box.
An SFA statement said: “Following information received from the Association of British Bookmakers [ABB], we are aware of alleged betting irregularities surrounding a sending-off incident in the Motherwell v Heart of Midlothian match on Tuesday, 14th December, 2010.”
“At this stage, we are not in possession of the facts regarding the allegations and are waiting for further information from the Scottish Premier League in due course. Once we are in possession of all of the facts we will be in a better position to provide more detailed comment on the matter,” it said.
“In the meantime, we will be working with our colleagues at the Scottish Premier League to establish the details surrounding this incident,” the statement said.
Britain’s Press Association reported several bets were placed on a red card being shown including one from a new account opened in Liverpool, where a ￡500 (US$780) bet was placed on a sending-off at odds of 10/1.
Jennings was shown a straight red card after speaking to O’Reilly about the rejected penalty appeal and placing a hand on the referee’s shoulder.
Motherwell caretaker boss Gordon Young was not sure whether Jennings had been dismissed for comments or the touch on the shoulder and said: “I wouldn’t like to comment on that because I don’t know the circumstances.”