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By ESPN Staff

Bookmakers investigate irregular betting

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

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

The statement read: "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.

"In the meantime, we will be working with our colleagues at the Scottish Premier League to establish the details surrounding this incident.''

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 on a red card at odds of 10/1.

Motherwell were not available for comment.

Jennings was shown a straight 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.

Well caretaker boss Gordon Young was not sure whether Jennings had been punished 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.''

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