Three admit to football match-fixing
A Malaysian man and two English football players have admitted
to fixing matches in Melbourne as part of an international
Defender Reiss Noel and goalkeeper Joe Woolley, both 24, were
convicted and fined on Friday after they admitted helping to fix
games while playing for the Southern Stars in the semi-professional
Victorian Premier League.
Alleged ring organizer Segaran Gsubramaniam, 45, of Malaysia,
pleaded guilty to a single charge of engaging in conduct that
corrupts or could corrupt the outcome of a betting event.
Gsubramaniam will also face a hearing in April over accusations
he conspired to fix five Southern Stars games between July and
September of this year.
The match-fixing ring was made public in September when Football
Federation Australia issued a statement saying several players from
the Southern Stars had been arrested after a police
Prosecutor Peter Rose told the Melbourne Magistrates Court that
Woolley and Noel were skilled players who had manipulated the
results of games according to instruction.
”They were able to change the results of the games with some
ease,” he said, adding that both players made full admissions
about their conduct and did not make much money out of the
Defense lawyer Anthony Brand said the two players were
”expendable” parts of the syndicate’s ”hit-and-run” operation
Brand said the scheme was well-orchestrated but ”clumsy” in
its execution, with people seen to be yelling suspicious
instructions from the sidelines during Southern Stars matches.
He told the court the instructions to fix matches would be
passed through team manager Zia Younan.
Brand said Noel and Woolley were ashamed and embarrassed about
”They appreciate that their careers in soccer are completely
finished,” he said.
Magistrate Jack Vandersteen fined Woolley 1,200 Australian
dollars ($1,090) for his part in fixing three matches, while Noel
received a AU$2,000 ($1,800) fine for helping to fix four
Vandersteen said the offending was serious, but conceded the two
men had no idea about the wider implications of their conduct.
Younan, 36, and English Southern Stars players David Obaze, 23,
and Nicholas McKoy, 27, have also been charged with match-fixing
offenses and will appear in court on Dec. 20.