New South Wales police arrest three A-League footballers over ‘corrupt’ payments in betting scandal

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Police said a senior player arranged for team-mates to collect yellow cards for gambling purposes during A-League matches in late 2023 in return for up to $6,000.
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Three footballers in Australia’s top-tier A-League were arrested and charged Friday in a betting scandal, accused of taking “corrupt” payments linked to an organised crime figure.

Police said a senior player arranged for team-mates to collect yellow cards for gambling purposes during matches in late 2023 in return for up to $6,000.

Punters in Australia and overseas can bet on markets such as the number of yellow cards handed out during a game.

Australian media alleged that the senior player was Macarthur FC captain Ulises Davila, a 33-year-old attacker from Mexico.

The Sydney-based club said it was “shocked” by the allegations.

New South Wales assistant police commissioner Michael Fitzgerald said the senior player was “acting under the instruction and direction of an organised crime figure currently offshore in South America”. “We will allege that those players intentionally gave out yellow cards in the receipt, and for the purpose of, a corrupt payment,” Fitzgerald told reporters.

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”.

The other two players charged were widely named by Australian media as Macarthur’s Clayton Lewis and Kearyn Baccus.

Detectives were hoping to interview a fourth player. Macarthur finished bottom of the 12-team A-League in 2022-23.

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