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Three soccer players arrested over alleged match-fixing involving yellow cards in Australian league


SYDNEY — Three A-League players were arrested Friday for alleged betting corruption after police claimed they manipulated the number of yellow cards they received in games last year, Football Australia said.

New South Wales state police began an investigation in December 2023. Six months later, detectives have revealed that a “senior player” was alleged to have been taking instructions from a man — believed to be based in South America — to organize players taking yellow cards during matches for money.

Police have not publicly identified any of the players who have been charged, but investigators said all three are attached to a club based in southwest Sydney. They were scheduled to appear in court later Friday.

Police say yellow cards were manipulated during games played on Nov. 24 and Dec. 9 of last year. They also allege unsuccessful attempts were made during matches on April 20 and May 4.

Local media said police executed a search warrant at South Coogee, in Sydney’s east, on Friday, and arrested a 33-year-old man. Two men, aged 32 and 27, were arrested in Sydney’s western suburbs.

Media reports quoted police as saying the oldest of the trio is expected to be charged with two counts of engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event and two counts of facilitating conduct that corrupts a betting outcome.

The other two players are set to be charged with engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event.

Football Australia said it has been “made aware of the arrests of three A-League men players.”

“Football Australia is fully cooperating with the Organized Crime Squad, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Sport Integrity Australia and the New South Wales Crime Commission in this matter,” it added in the statement.”

The A-League season is into the playoff stage, with two semifinals scheduled this weekend to determine which teams meet in the May 25 grand final. The A-League men’s competition has 11 clubs based in Australia and one in New Zealand.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer



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