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Macarthur FC ‘shocked’ by alleged betting correction at club

Three Macarthur FC players have been arrested for their alleged involvement in an A-League betting operation which police say was run by a senior player and orchestrated through his offshore connection.

The Sydney club said it was “shocked” by allegations of yellow card manipulation among its players following a six-month police investigation.

NSW Police said the investigation was launched in December 2023 with the assistance of British officials.

The investigation revealed that a senior player allegedly received instructions from a man – believed to be based in South America – to arrange for players to receive yellow cards during matches for money.

Police have not yet named the players charged, but investigators said all three were attached to a club based in Sydney’s southwest.

Investigators say yellow cards were manipulated during matches played on November 24 and December 9.

They also claim that failed attempts were made to do the same during matches on April 20 and May 4.

Macarthur played out a 1–1 draw against Melbourne Victory on 24 November before beating Sydney FC 2–0 on 9 December.

The team beat Sydney 1–0 on 20 April before being beaten 4–0 by the Sky Blues on 4 May.

Macarthur FC chief executive Sam Krslovic said the club had been caught off guard by the arrests but would work with authorities.

“The Club is shocked and aware of the arrest of three A-League players by NSW Police following international law enforcement coordination focused on betting corruption linked to alleged manipulation of yellow card during matches,” he said in a statement.

“The integrity of our game is a fundamental pillar and we will work closely with all relevant agencies on this matter.”

A 33-year-old man was arrested in South Coogee, in Sydney’s east, on Friday when police executed a search warrant as part of the investigation.

A 27-year-old man was arrested in Parramatta and a 32-year-old man was arrested in Campbelltown.

The oldest of the trio is expected to be charged with two counts of engaging in conduct that corrupts the outcome of a bet on an event and two counts of facilitating conduct that corrupts the outcome of a bet on an event.

The other two players will be charged with conduct that corrupts the outcome of betting on an event.

Sports Integrity Australia said it acted on information from a British agency working with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission on its investigation.

Football Australia said it was informed of the arrests on Friday morning.

“The FA is fully co-operating with the Organized Crime Squad, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Sport Integrity Australia and the NSW Crime Commission in this matter,” it said in a statement.

Australia’s professional leagues, which organize the A-League competitions, also acknowledged that the arrest was the result of “international law enforcement coordination”.

“The work to protect the integrity of our game must be unwavering and we are working closely with all relevant agencies on this matter,” he said in a statement.

Macarthur FC have been competing in the men’s A-League competition since the 2020-21 season.

The team finished that regular season in fifth place before being eliminated by Sydney FC in a playoff final.