Local organizer of match-fixing syndicate jailed

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) A Malaysian man who organized an international match-fixing syndicate involving Australian state football games in 2013 has been jailed for at least a year.

Segaran ”Gerry” Subramaniam, 46, pleaded guilty to fixing six Victorian Premier League matches last year.

Victorian County Court judge Michael Bourke on Thursday jailed Subramaniam for three years, but suspended two years of his prison term and said Subramaniam would be deported to Malaysia after being released from prison.

Last year, Southern Stars players Reiss Noel and Joe Woolley, both from England, were convicted and fined for helping to fix four games.

Fellow English players David Obaze and Nicholas McKoy, and team coach Zia Younan, have also been charged and will appear again in court in June.

The court was told Thursday that Subramaniam acted as a facilitator between players at the Southern Stars and overseas syndicate chiefs.

”It betrays the people, the honest players and officials, who you and your fellow cheats rubbed shoulders with,” the judge said during sentencing.

About $60,000 was filtered through Subramaniam’s account to pay the players, and fund their hotels and cars. Subramaniam told police he made about $6,000 from his involvement.

Bourke said the syndicate was sophisticated, organized and had expectations of high reward for senior figures.

The Southern Stars won just one of their 21 games in last season, and their results have since been declared invalid by Football Federation of Victoria. On Thursday, the team was also fined 10,000 Australian dollars ($9,250) by the state federation.