Bookmakers investigate suspicious red-card bets

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The Independent Football

The Scottish Football Association has confirmed that the Association of British Bookmakers is investigating irregular betting activity regarding the red card shown to Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings at Fir Park in Tuesday's Scottish Premier League defeat by Hearts.

Reports claim irregular betting patterns surrounded the dismissal of Jennings, who, after being booked by referee Stevie O'Reilly in the early stages for a foul, was shown a straight red with seven minutes left after O'Reilly turned down a penalty.

An SFA statement added: "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."

It is understood that several bets were put on a red card being dished out at Fir Park, including one from a new account opened in Liverpool, where a £500 bet was placed at odds of 10-1.

Jennings was shown a red card after putting his hand on referee O'Reilly's shoulder and speaking to him about a rejected penalty claim after Marius Zaliukas had won the ball from Alan Gow.

Motherwell's caretaker manager, Gordon Young, was not sure whether Jennings had been punished for comments or the touch on the shoulder.