Victoria Police say they’ve smashed a major football match-fixing ring after arresting nine international players and a coach from the Victorian Premier League's Southern Stars club.
Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop says he will throw the book at anyone involved in match-fixing, after Victoria Police smashed a ring in the state's Premier League.
Authorities acted after the team recorded some heavy losses and unusual victories, Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton said in a press conference attended by SBS's Gareth Boreham.
Police believe the men are part of a major international syndicate.
Victorian police made the arrests after executing search warrants, with all the players and staff arrested believed to be from the bottom-placed Southern Stars FC.
They face charges of match fixing involving games this season.
Police said many of the players arrested were from the United Kingdom and playing in Australia in their off-season.
They said they would be looking to prosecute members of an overseas syndicate, believed to have been operating throughout Europe.
The police operation began in August following information received from Football Federation Australia about irregular betting patterns and unusual results.
There were estimated betting winnings in Australia and overseas of more than $2 million identified in connection with the alleged match-fixing ring, police said.
LOWER LEAGUE RISK: GALLOP
Mr Gallop said that lower league games were 'potentially more susceptible' but that police had informed him it was an isolated incident.
'All we can say is that we'll throw the book at the perpetrators under our own codes', Gallop said.
'We trust that this will send a message to others who might be considering this kind of activity', he said.
'It's clearly distressing for everyone in Australian sport.'
Watch SBS News at 18.30 tonight for a full report of today’s events.