Home Sports Police charge three A-League players with alleged corruption

Police charge three A-League players with alleged corruption

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Police have charged three players from the Australian top flight on suspicion of betting corruption after allegedly manipulating yellow cards.

New South Wales (NSW) police allege a senior player took instructions from an “organised crime figure currently offshore in South America”, to organise for yellow cards to occur during games in exchange for money.

It is alleged bookings were manipulated on 24 November and 9 December 2023.

Police did not name the players arrested on Friday but said they belonged to a south Sydney club.

A-League side Macarthur FC, based in south Sydney, said in a statement they are “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.

A 33-year-old man has been charged with two counts of engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event, two counts of facilitating in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event and participating in a criminal group.

He has been bailed to appear in court on 24 June.

A 27-year-old man and a 32-year-old man have been charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event and participating in a criminal group. They have been bailed to appear in court on 27 June and 30 May respectively.

Police say a fourth player is expected to be charged when tracked down by police.

It is alleged the senior player paid the junior players up to 10,000 Australian dollars (£5,300) to intentionally receive yellow cards.

Police say failed attempts were also allegedly made to control the number of yellow cards during games on 20 April and 4 May 2024.

“In relation to one of the matches, there’s multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars been paid out,” NSW Police Detective Superintendent Peter Faux said.

“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 said.

The police said they began an investigation in December 2023, assisted by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.

The A-League said: “The APL is aware of the arrests of three A-League players by NSW Police as a result of international law enforcement coordination focused on betting corruption related to alleged yellow card manipulation in games.

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

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