Macarthur Bulls captain Ulises Davila was one of three men arrested and charged by police

  • Three players were arrested on Friday 
  • Have been charged with corruption and gambling-related offences 
  • Police now investigating wider international network 

There are fears the A-League match fixing allegations that led to three A-League being charged with gambling-related offences this week could lead to more arrests, with police now investigating a global network of betting agencies.

Two weeks after Macarthur FC was eliminated from the A-League finals, police charged club captain Ulises Davila and teammates Kearyn Baccus and Clayton Lewis with corrupting a betting outcome.

The three Macarthur players were arrested in pre-dawn raids on Friday and charged with corruption and gambling-related offences

A fourth Macarthur FC player is also expected to be charged upon his return from interstate, marking the biggest allegation of sports corruption in Australian football since the 2010 Ryan Tandy affair. 

Macarthur Bulls captain Ulises Davila was one of three men arrested and charged by police

Macarthur Bulls captain Ulises Davila was one of three men arrested and charged by police

A South American crime syndicate allegedly paid the players to generate yellow cards in A-League matches

A South American crime syndicate allegedly paid the players to generate yellow cards in A-League matches

Police are looking for a fourth player who they want to interview over the alleged match fixing

Police are looking for a fourth player who they want to interview over the alleged match fixing

The alleged scandal began with 21 identical rapid-fire bets placed in one minute from thousands of kilometers away. 

In December 2023, a South American crime syndicate allegedly placed bets on a low-key game involving Macarthur FC, led by a man dubbed The Controller.

The punters allegedly paid team captain Ulises Davila $10,000 to ensure Macarthur received more than 3.5 yellow cards in the game.

The UK Gambling Commission’s network allegedly detected the suspicious bets, leading police to allegedly uncover other manipulated games and failed attempts.

Football Australia issued interim suspension notices to the three charged players, sidelining them from all football activities until criminal proceedings conclude.

‘This is very troubling news for the Australian football community and beyond. The conduct that has been alleged has no place in our game,’ said Football Australia chief executive James Johnson.

‘We will do everything we can to get to the bottom of it and no stone will be left unturned.’

Another Macarthur player is expected to be charged, with police ready to extradite him from interstate if necessary.

Former New Zealand international Clayton Lewis was one of the Bulls players arrested

Former New Zealand international Clayton Lewis was one of the Bulls players arrested

Kearyn Baccus, brother of Socceroo Keanu, was the third man arrested by NSW Police

Kearyn Baccus, brother of Socceroo Keanu, was the third man arrested by NSW Police

Davila, Baccus, and Lewis were granted bail and are set to appear in local courts later this month and in June.

Police are also investigating other Macarthur Bulls players, their past games, and global betting patterns.

The charges centre on bets placed on a South American wagering platform, with police revealing significant alleged winnings.

Organised Crime Squad Commander Superintendent Peter Faux told News Corp that could lead to more arrests. 

‘That was just the alleged payout from one game,’ he said.

It is alleged that there are hundreds in thousands of winnings.

‘But there are so many more markets and betting platforms (to look into),’ Supt Faux said.

The NSW Crime Commission is examining the players’ financials to determine if their assets are alleged proceeds of crime.

‘I think it’s important to understand that this isn’t a matter of luck or the NSW Police stumbling onto it,’ Supt Faux said.

‘We have a squad that specifically looks at this stuff, a team of specialized detectives and analysts.’

The Controller is now a top target for police, who are confident he can be charged.

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