For alleged manipulation of yellow cards

Australia: Three Macarthur FC players suspended over illegal betting scheme in top-flight soccer league

Reading time 1:08 min

Three Macarthur FC players of Australia's top men's soccer league have been suspended following charges related to an alleged betting scandal.

Football Australia issued no-fault suspensions on Friday night for Macarthur captain Ulises Dávila, and his teammates Clayton Lewis and Kearyn Baccus.

The A-league players were arrested during dawn raids on Friday as the NSW Police Organised Crime Squad Gaming Unit investigated the alleged manipulation of yellow cards during football games for gambling purposes. The investigation revealed that a senior player received instructions from an individual, suspected to be in South America, to orchestrate yellow cards in exchange for financial gain.

Football Australia stated that the suspensions were implemented "to safeguard the integrity and reputation of the sport while the players face legal proceedings" and assured that the players would receive the necessary support.

The alleged incidents occurred between November 24 and December 9 last year. Dávila received yellow cards during Macarthur FC's matches against Melbourne Victory on November 24 and Sydney FC on December 9. Additional attempts to influence the number of cards issued were allegedly made between April 20 and May 4 this year.

Dávila faces multiple charges, including two counts of engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome and facilitating conduct that corrupts a betting outcome. He was the first Mexican to sign with English Premier League club Chelsea in 2011 and recently renewed his contract with Macarthur FC for another two years.

Lewis and Baccus have been charged with participating in a criminal group and engaging in conduct that corrupts betting outcomes. All three players were granted bail on Friday and will appear in court in the coming weeks. Police are also seeking a fourth player currently out of state for questioning in connection with the alleged betting scandal.

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