Three Macarthur FC players arrested for alleged illegal betting in Australia’s A-League

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Three players for an Australian football club have been arrested for allegedly manipulating the number of yellow cards they received in several A-League matches last year.

Investigations found a senior player at Macarthur FC was allegedly taking instructions from a man, believed to be in South America, to organise players taking yellow cards during the matches for money, New South Wales (NSW) state police said.

Yellow cards were allegedly manipulated during games on 24 November 2023 and 9 December 2023.

Failed attempts were allegedly made to manipulate yellow cards during games on 20 April 2024 and 4 May 2024, the force added.

The players, who were not identified, are expected to be charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event.

A fourth player from the club is also expected to be charged when tracked down by police.

Macarthur FC, which played A-League matches on all the dates of the alleged manipulation, said it was “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 in a statement.

NSW state police said they would allege the senior player paid junior teammates up to A$10,000 (£7,900) to intentionally give away yellow cards and receive penalties.

The senior player was allegedly acting under instruction from an organised crime figure currently in South America.

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“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 force said they had set up a team in December 2023, assisted by the UK Gambling Commission, to investigate the alleged betting.

NSW Police Detective Superintendent Peter Faux said police had no evidence players from other A-League teams had engaged in betting corruption, but they were continuing investigations.

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