Police arrest three A-League men’s players from Sydney club over alleged betting corruption

Three A-League men’s players have been arrested in Sydney after an international investigation uncovered an alleged betting corruption scandal.

New South Wales police on Friday said they had arrested the three footballers following an investigation by the organised crime squad which began in December and was assisted by the UK gambling commission.

The alleged betting corruption uncovered by Strike Force Beaconview related to “yellow card manipulation by players attached to a south-western Sydney football club”.

NSW police said the players allegedly involved were from “a south-western Sydney football club” of which there is only one – Macarthur FC which joined the A-League in 2020.

“Investigations revealed a senior player was allegedly taking instructions from a man – believed to be offshore in South America – to organise for yellow cards to occur during certain games in exchange for profit,” police said in a statement.

The number of yellow cards was allegedly manipulated during games played against Melbourne Victory on Friday 24 November 2023 and Sydney FC on Saturday 9 December 2023.

Failed attempts were then allegedly made to control the number of yellow cards during two further games against Sydney FC: a regular season match on Saturday 20 April 2024 and an elimination final on Saturday 4 May this year.

Police executed a search warrant in South Coogee on Friday morning and arrested a 33-year-old man.

He was taken to Mascot police station and was “expected to be charged with two counts of engage in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event, and two counts of facilitate in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event”.

Simultaneously, strike force detectives executed three other search warrants in Parramatta, West Hoxton and Emu Plains.

“At the Parramatta address, detectives arrested a 27-year-old man. He was taken to Parramatta police station, where he is expected to be charged with engage in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event.

“In West Hoxton, detectives arrested a 32-year-old man. He was taken to Campbelltown police station, where he is expected to be charged with engage in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event.”

Police said organised crime squad detectives were working with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), Sports Integrity Australia (SIA), Football Australia, Australian Professional Leagues (APL) and the NSW Crime Commission as inquiries continue.

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Australian Professional Leagues – the governing body for the A-Leagues formed in 2020 to take over operational duties from Football Australia – released a brief statement on Friday but said it would not comment further given investigations were ongoing.

“The work to protect the integrity of our game must be unwavering and we are liaising closely with all relevant agencies on this matter,” the APL said.

Football Australia, the governing body for the sport overall, said it was aware of the arrests.

“Football Australia is fully cooperating with the organised crime squad, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Sport Integrity Australia and the NSW Crime Commission in this matter,” it said.

Sport Integrity Australia said: “SIA and ACIC acted on information provided by a UK agency and worked with relevant Australian bodies resulting in a referral to NSW police.”

Macarthur FC were contacted for comment.


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