A-League Soccer Match-Fixing Linked to Colombian Crime Figure

  • Colombian won “hundreds of thousands of dollars” betting on Bulls players to get yellow cards
  • Macarthur FC confirmed termination of Ulises Dávila’s contract hours after he appeared in court
  • Court documents also implicate Bulls players Matthew Millar and Jed Drew in the scandal
Ulises Dávila of Macarthur FC
Police have tied a Columbian gangster to the Macarthur FC betting scandal rocking Australian soccer. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Scandal intensifies

The match-fixing scandal rocking Australia’s top-flight pro soccer league has continued to spread shockwaves through the sport.

At a Sydney court on Monday, police testified as to further details on previous allegations that the scheme was under the “instruction and direction of an organized crime figure currently offshore in South America.”

directing former Chelsea player Dávila in a deliberate yellow card scheme

Downing Centre Local Court heard the police allege Macarthur FC’s Ulises Dávila, Kearyn Baccus, and Clayton Lewis “were assisting a Colombian crime figure” in the AFC betting scheme. Authorities allege the unnamed Columbian gangster was directing former Chelsea player Dávila in a deliberate yellow card scheme involving his Bulls teammates.

Dávila appeared in court for the first time to face allegations that he masterminded the betting scheme at the A-League club. According to The Age, Dávila was allegedly the ringleader behind convincing and paying the suspected soccer players to deliberately commit fouls to receive yellow cards.

The Colombia crime figure subsequently placed bets on the athletes to receive yellow cards, leading to “hundreds of thousands of dollars in winnings being paid out.”

Bulls dump Dávila

According to media reports, Dávila felt the ramifications of appearing in court and having serious accusations leveled at him only “hours after.”

The AFC franchise took to X not long after the court hearing to state that the Bulls and the player have agreed to mutually end his contract:

Dávila follows Bacchus out the Macarthur FC door, as the latter was also released from his contract. According to The Age, Bacchus “was not present on Monday when his case was also mentioned,” while Lewis’s day before the court is set for Thursday.

While Dávila and Baccus have not responded to the allegations, Lewis’ attorney is on record as stating his client’s plea would be not guilty.

Police have charged Dávila, Baccus, and Lewis with “manipulation of yellow cards” in Bulls matches against A-League sides Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC on November 24 and December 9, respectively. Failed attempts were made on two occasions after December 9.

Authorities claim Baccus and Lewis each pocketed $10,000 ($6,645) for deliberately committing the on-field offenses.

Case continues

Court documents also implicate Macarthur FC players Matthew Millar and Jed Drew in the match-fixing scandal, stating they were also part of the “criminal group” behind the betting scheme. While the Bulls also released Millar from his contract, Football Australia stated in early June that Drew was “not considered a suspect and is not under police investigation.”

Dávila was handed a small break by the Downing Centre Local Court’s Deputy Chief Magistrate, who cut down his bail requirements for reporting to police from twice a week to once.

Officials told a Sydney court on Monday that a “brief of evidence would be presented to the players’ lawyers by August 2.”

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