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Australian A-League footballers charged over alleged betting corruption

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Police in New South Wales (NSW) have charged three footballers playing in the Australian A-League with alleged betting corruption linked to yellow card manipulation.

The A-League footballers, who have not been named, all play for a team located in south-west Sydney. The players have been bailed and will appear in court soon to hear more on the corruption charges.   

In a statement confirming the news, the NSW police force says the arrests were made following an investigation by the organised crime squad. The investigation is into alleged betting corruption under Strike Force Beaconview.

Established in December, Strike Force Beaconview is focusing on yellow card manipulation. The State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad is being assisted by Great Britain’s Gambling Commission.

Investigators found a senior player was allegedly taking instructions from a man to organise for yellow cards to occur during certain games in exchange for profit. The man in question is believed to be located offshore in South America.

According to investigators, the number of yellow cards were allegedly manipulated during games played on 24 November 2023 and 9 December 2023. Failed attempts also allegedly took place in games on 20 April and 4 May this year.

After extensive inquiries, strike force detectives today (17 May) executed a search warrant in South Coogee near Sydney. Here, a 33-year-old man was arrested and taken to a local police station. 

He was later charged with two counts of engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event. Additional charges focused on facilitating conduct that corrupts betting outcome of event and participation in a criminal group. The man has been bailed to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on 24 June.

Further arrests over A-League corruption

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

In Parramatta, detectives arrested a 27-year-old man and took him to a local police station. Here, he was charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts betting outcome of event and participating in a criminal group. He has since been bailed to appear in Downing Centre Local Court on 27 June.

The final arrest took place West Hoxton, where a 32-year-old man was taken to a nearby police station. He was also charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event and participating in a criminal group.

The man was granted conditional bail to appear in Campbelltown Local Court on 30 May.

Further details of the case have not been revealed. However, Australian Professional Leagues (APL) has confirmed the arrests, saying it will work with law enforcement to support them with the matter.

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

“The work to protect the integrity of our game must be unwavering and we are liaising closely with all relevant agencies on this matter. Given the ongoing nature of the investigation and police enquiries we are unable to comment further at this time.”

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