London-listed betting and gaming operator Ladbrokes has signed as the new official betting partner of the Football Association of Ireland.

The two-year agreement will give Ladbrokes premium brand exposure at all Republic of Ireland football matches and training sessions.

"Ladbrokes Ireland has returned to a position of growth and we believe investing in Irish sport will support the upward trajectory of the business,” said Jackie Murphy, director of Ladbrokes Ireland. "Football is a favourite for our staff and customers alike, so we're thrilled for our brand to be joined with such a high quality partner in the FAI. We expect this deal to further strengthen our presence and growth in the market."

Ladbrokes already serves as the official betting partner of the English Football Association, covering the England national team and the FA cup.

Managed by former Leicester City boss Martin O’Neill, the Republic of Ireland play Serbia on Monday in the first of their qualifying matches for the FIFA 2018 World Cup.

The Irish national team has improved significantly in recent years, going from number 67 in FIFA's world ranking in 2013 to numer 31 this year. It also put in a strong showing at Euro 2016, where the team reached the last-16 before losing 2-1 to eventual runners-up France.

"I am delighted to welcome Ladbrokes as a key commercial partner of the Football Association of Ireland,” said John Delaney, CEO of the FAI. "The strength of the game in Ireland is reflected in the range of high quality brands which have invested in football and who see football as their preferred sport."

Ladbrokes has been in Ireland for over 30 years and currently employs 650 staff there.

After entering Examinership in April of last year, the bookmaker restructured its Irish business after the country’s High Court approved a rescue plan that saw the majority of its employees retained and the bookmaker maintaining operation of 144 shops across Ireland.

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