Three A-League stars from the Macarthur Bulls – including skipper Ulises Davila – were arrested on Friday morning, following an investigation by the Organised Crime Squad into alleged betting corruption under Strike Force Beaconview.

Investigations revealed a senior player – believed to be Davila, 33, – was allegedly taking instructions from a man – believed to be offshore in South America – to organise for yellow cards to occur during certain games in exchange for profit.

Police will allege Davila successfully controlled the number of cautions – which are given to players by a referee for foul play – during a match against Melbourne Victory on November 24, and a match against Sydney FC on December 9.

The two other players from Macarthur allegedly caught up in the betting corruption ring are yet to be named.

Police also confirmed failed attempts at yellow card manipulation were also made during games on April 20 and May 4.

Macarthur Bulls captain Ulises Dávila has been named as one of the three A-League players arrested over betting corruption allegations

Macarthur Bulls captain Ulises Dávila has been named as one of the three A-League players arrested over betting corruption allegations

The Mexican born star joined the Bulls in 2021 from A-League rivals Wellington Phoenix

The Mexican born star joined the Bulls in 2021 from A-League rivals Wellington Phoenix

Following extensive inquiries, about 6am on Friday, strike force detectives – with assistance from Central Metropolitan Region Operational Support Group, Odin – executed a search warrant in South Coogee, where they arrested a 33-year-old man.

He was taken to Mascot Police Station, where he is expected to be charged with two counts of engage in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event, and two counts of facilitate in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event.

Simultaneously, strike force detectives – with assistance from Raptor Squad, Bass Hill Region Enforcement Squad, and North West Metropolitan Operational Support Group – executed three other search warrants in Parramatta, West Hoxton and Emu Plains in Sydney’s west.

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At the Parramatta address, detectives arrested a 27-year-old man. 

He was taken to Parramatta Police Station, where he is expected to be charged with engage in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event.

In West Hoxton, detectives arrested a 32-year-old man. He was taken to Campbelltown Police Station, where he is expected to be charged with engage in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of an event.

Organised Crime Squad detectives are working with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Sports Integrity Australia, Football Australia, Australian Professional Leagues, and the NSW Crime Commission as inquiries continue.

No charges have been laid at this stage.

Three A-League players were arrested on Friday morning, following an investigation by the Organised Crime Squad into alleged betting corruption under Strike Force Beaconview (stock image)

Three A-League players were arrested on Friday morning, following an investigation by the Organised Crime Squad into alleged betting corruption under Strike Force Beaconview (stock image)

The trio of football players are all based in Sydney (stock image)

The trio of football players are all based in Sydney (stock image)

Davila joined Macarthur in 2021 from A-League rivals Wellington Phoenix, and is widely regarded as one of the best players in the competition.

The Mexican born attacking midfielder was on the books of Chelsea from 2011 to 2015, but failed to make a senior appearance for the Blues.

After leaving England, Devila became a football nomad, plying his trade in Holland, Spain, Portugal, Mexico and India before making the move to New Zealand in 2019.

Football Australia released a statement on Friday surrounding the arrests.

‘Football Australia has been made aware of the arrests of three A-League Men players this morning, following an investigation by the NSW Police Force Organised Crime Squad into alleged betting corruption under Strike Force Beaconview. The arrested players are expected to face court this afternoon.

‘The allegations pertain to yellow card manipulation by players associated with a south-western Sydney football club, with incidents reportedly occurring during games played on 24 November 2023, 9 December 2023, 20 April 2024, and 4 May 2024.

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‘Football Australia is fully cooperating with the Organised Crime Squad, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Sport Integrity Australia and the NSW Crime Commission in this matter.

‘Football Australia will provide no further comments at this stage as the investigation is ongoing.’

The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) then released their own statement on the matter.

‘The APL is aware of the arrests of three A-League players by NSW Police as a result of international law enforcement coordination focussed on betting corruption related to alleged yellow card manipulation in games.

‘The work to protect the integrity of our game must be unwavering and we are liaising closely with all relevant agencies on this matter. Given the ongoing nature of the investigation and Police enquiries we are unable to comment further at this time.’

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