Three players arrested for yellow card fixing in Australia

By Reuters
May 18, 2024
A football referee showing a yellow card.— AAP/file

SYDNEY: Three players from A-League club Macarthur FC were arrested on Friday and charged with betting-related corruption by manipulating yellow cards in a scandal that rocked the top flight of Australian football.


Police allege a senior player for the southwest Sydney club was taking direction from an organised crime figure in South America to ensure yellow cards were issued in at least four A-League matches in exchange for profit.

The alleged manipulation occurred in games on Nov. 24, 2023 and Dec. 9, 2023, with failed attempts occurring in recent matches in April and May. The players, who police did not identify, were charged with engaging in “conduct that corrupts betting outcome of an event” and participating in a criminal group.

The senior player, aged 33, was also charged with facilitating conduct that corrupts betting outcome of an event. A fourth player from the club is also expected to be charged with betting-related corruption when tracked down by police.

Macarthur FC, which played A-League matches on all of the dates of the alleged manipulation, said it was “shocked and aware” of the arrests. Match-fixing has previously hit Australian soccer but Friday’s charges, coming a day before the second leg of the A-League semi-finals, mark the first time the nation’s top flight.