Former Chelsea Prodigy Arrested in Australian Soccer Match-Fixing Scandal

  • Police believe that at least four A-League players engaged in match-fixing
  • Investigators found two games in which they intentionally got yellow cards
  • Suspicions first arose in December after big money was bet overseas
Ref with yellow card and soccer ball
Australia is in the middle of a soccer match-fixing scandal after police arrested three players for allegedly manipulating games. [Image:]

Huge shock

The world of professional soccer in Australia is teetering after a major match-fixing scandal came to light. Police believe that at least four players in the A-League played a role in manipulating games, with officers carrying out raids early on Friday morning over fears that some of them might try to flee the country.

Authorities charged Macarthur FC captain Ulises Dávila for engaging in corrupt conduct and the facilitation of corrupt conduct on betting outcomes. Dávila signed for Chelsea in 2011 and left the club in 2015 after never making a senior appearance, spending most of his time out on loan.

intentionally getting yellow cards during games

The 33-year-old allegedly gave as much as AU$10,000 (US$6,650) to two players on his Sydney-based team in exchange for them intentionally getting yellow cards during games. Law enforcement claims that a notorious South American organized crime figure nicknamed ‘The Instructor’ was directing the player.

Cracking the case

The other individuals are Kearyn Baccus and current New Zealand international Clayton Lewis, with police also bringing them into custody and charging them on Friday. All three players got conditional bail and will have their respective court dates over the coming weeks. Another unnamed player under suspicion is not currently in New South Wales (NSW) and officers are trying to locate him.

Dávila was an underage international for Mexico and was the first player of this nationality to sign for Chelsea. He has played for Macarthur FC and captained the side since 2021.

Investigators pinpointed two occasions when the players successfully manipulated games, one in November and the other in December. Dávila got a booking in both of these games, with Lewis and Baccus receiving yellow cards in the second fixture. They also discovered failed attempts to manipulate games in April and earlier this month.

Regrettable actions

Suspicions first arose for law enforcement in December after they received information of suspiciously large sums of money placed on A-League games overseas, with one of the games resulting in a payout worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The NSW Organised Crime Squad began looking into the matter in collaboration with numerous other local agencies and with assistance from the UK Gambling Commission.

Macarthur FC plays in the A-League and finished the regular season in fifth position before losing to Sydney FC in the elimination final.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Fitzgerald said the players had destroyed their reputations and sporting careers forever through their actions. He wants this scandal to act as a warning to any other athletes who consider manipulating games

Macarthur FC CEO Sam Krslovic expressed his shock at the scandal and said that the club will fully cooperate with the relevant agencies. The team will not make any further comment due to the ongoing legal proceedings.

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