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Three footballers in Australia's top tier arrested in betting probe

By AFP

May 17, 2024 10:07 AM


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Three footballers in Australia's top-tier A-League were arrested Friday in a betting probe, accused of taking "corrupt" payments from an organised crime figure to manipulate games.

Police said a senior player organised for his team-mates to give away penalties and collect yellow cards during matches in late 2023.

The player was "acting under the instruction and direction of an organised crime figure currently offshore in South America", NSW assistant police commissioner Michael Fitzgerald told reporters.

The player, who was not named by police, paid his team-mates up to US$6,000 for yellow cards.

"We will allege that those players intentionally gave out yellow cards in the receipt, and for the purpose of, a corrupt payment," Fitzgerald said.

"All sports fans understand even one penalty can change the way the game flows and also the way the momentum of that game can be carried out," he added.

Punters in both Australia and overseas are able to bet on markets such as the number of yellow cards dished out during a game.

Police had linked four yellow cards to the alleged payments, which they said "could in fact change the way the result of that game went".

Detectives are hoping to interview a fourth player.

Working with the help of Britain's Gambling Commission, detectives on Friday arrested a 33-year-old man who they expected to charge with "conduct that corrupts a betting outcome".

They also arrested a 32-year-old man and a 27-year-old, who are facing the same charge.

Governing body Football Australia said the three players belonged to an unnamed Sydney club.

Local media named the club as Macarthur FC, who finished bottom of the 12-team A-League in 2022-23.


AFP


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