Club captain charged in Australian soccer match-fixing case released from A-League contract

Mon, Jun 24, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Club captain charged in Australian soccer match-fixing case released from A-League contract

SYDNEY (AP) - Australian A-League soccer club Macarthur terminated the contract of captain Ulises Davila on the same day the Mexican midfielder appeared in court over allegations he helped to lead a match-fixing scheme.

Davila signed a two-year contract extension with the club earlier this year. The 33-year-old Davila was arrested in May over his alleged involvement in a scheme where Macarthur players were to deliberately receive yellow cards.

The team issued a two-line statement Monday saying Davila's contract had been terminated by "mutual" agreement.

Davila appeared in court for the first time on Monday. Police allege he was the link between Macarthur players and a South American group orchestrating the match-fixing scheme.

Davila has not entered a plea. Two other Macarthur players have been charged by police in relation to the claims. All three players are on bail.

New Zealand international Clayton Lewis, who remains contracted to the club in Sydney's southwest, is due to appear in court on Thursday. Midfielder Kearyn Baccus, who was earlier released from the club, appeared in court in May.

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Police say the betting scheme led to hundreds of thousands of dollars being paid out to gamblers. Documents presented at Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court allege Davila, in his role as captain, influenced other Macarthur players to participate in the scheme.

Investigators says yellow cards, which are universally issued as cautions by referees for foul play, were manipulated during A-League games played on Nov. 24 and Dec. 9. Macarthur played out a 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory in the first of those matches before beating Sydney FC 2-0 in the second.

All three charged players were given yellow cards in the Dec. 9 game. Police also allege unsuccessful attempts were made to do the same thing during matches on April 20 and May 4 of this year.

Football Australia has issued the three players with interim suspension notices under its code of conduct.

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