A-League players arrested for alleged yellow-card fix

Three Macarthur players have been arrested for alleged betting corruption after police claimed they manipulated the number of yellow cards they received in matches.

NSW Police launched an investigation in December 2023 into the alleged yellow card manipulation at the A-League club.

Six months later, detectives have revealed that a “senior player” was allegedly taking instructions from a man – believed to be based in South America – to organise players taking yellow cards during matches for money.

Police are yet to name any of the players who have been charged, but investigators said all three are attached to a club based in southwest Sydney.

Police say yellow cards were manipulated during games played on November 24 and December 9.

They also allege unsuccessful attempts were made to do the same thing during matches on April 20 and May 4.

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

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

Macarthur FC has been contacted for comment.

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

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

“FA is fully cooperating with the Organised Crime Squad, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Sport Integrity Australia and the NSW Crime Commission in this matter,” it said in a statement.

The Australian Professional Leagues, which runs the A-League competitions, also acknowledged the arrest as a result of “international law enforcement co-ordination”.

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

Police executed a search warrant at South Coogee, in Sydney’s east, on Friday, when they arrested a 33-year-old man.

A 27-year-old was arrested in the suburb of Parramatta, while a 32-year-old was arrested in Campbelltown.

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 of an event.

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