Livingston midfielder Shaun Byrne hit with eight match ban after breaking Scottish FA betting rules

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Livingston midfielder Shaun Byrne has been hit with an eight match ban after being found guilty of breaking the Scottish FA’s strict rules over betting.

The 23-year-old was handed the punishment at Hampden on Thursday on the same day that former Cowdenbeath defender Dean Brett received a four game suspension for gambling on football.

Byrne will sit out League One leaders Livingston’s next five matches and has also been handed an additional suspended three-game ban that runs until summer 2018.

The Kirkcaldy-born player, who moved to the West Lothian outfit from Dunfermline last July, admitted to breaching disciplinary rules 22, 31 and 33 on bets placed in the last six years.

Two of the bets were on games involving Livingston but it is understood that Byrne did not gamble on his team to lose.

The former Pars trainee attended the Hampden hearing in person alongside Livingston manager David Hopkin.

The playmaker has made 35 appearances for Livingston so far this season but is now set to miss games against Stranraer, Stenhousemuir, Airdrie, Brechin City and Alloa as Hopkin’s side attempt to maintain their seven point lead at the summit.

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