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Three players in Australia's A-League arrested for alleged illegal betting

Macarthur FC, which played A-League matches on all of the dates of the alleged manipulation, said it was 'shocked and aware' of the arrests.
Last Updated : 17 May 2024, 05:00 IST
Last Updated : 17 May 2024, 05:00 IST

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Sydney: Three players for Australian top flight soccer club Macarthur FC were arrested on Friday for alleged betting corruption by manipulating yellow cards in multiple A-League matches.

Investigations found a senior player for the southwest Sydney club was allegedly taking instructions from a man, believed to be in South America, to organise for yellow cards to occur during games in exchange for profit, New South Wales (NSW) state police said.

Yellow cards were allegedly manipulated during games on Nov. 24, 2023 and Dec. 9, 2023. Failed attempts were allegedly made to manipulate yellow cards during games on April 20, 2024 and May 4, 2024, police added.

The players, who police did not identify, are expected to be charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event.

A fourth player from the club is also expected to be charged when tracked down by police.

Macarthur FC, which played A-League matches on all of the dates of the alleged manipulation, said it was "shocked and aware" of the arrests.

"Integrity of our game is a foundation pillar and we will work closely with all relevant agencies on this matter," the club said in a statement.

Police said they would allege the senior player had paid junior team mates up to A$10,000 ($6,700) to intentionally give away yellow cards and receive penalties.

The senior player was allegedly acting under instruction from an organised crime figure currently in South America.

"Whilst A$10,000 may seem like a lot of money to a young sports person, we will advise that is incredibly insignificant when you consider the damage .... to this young person's reputation, damage to their club and their code's reputation," NSW Police State Crime Commander Assistant Commissioner Mike Fitzgerald told reporters on Friday.

Police said they had set up a team in December 2023, assisted by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, to investigate the alleged betting.

NSW Police Detective Superintendent Peter Faux said police had no evidence players from other A-League teams had engaged in betting corruption, but they were continuing investigations.

Australian Professional Leagues, the A-League's governing body, and the sport's national federation, Football Australia, said they were aware of the arrests and fully cooperating with authorities in the matter.

($1 = 1.4999 Australian dollars)

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Published 17 May 2024, 05:00 IST

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