'Biggest ever criminal sports betting scandal'

'Biggest ever criminal sports betting scandal'

'Biggest ever criminal sports betting scandal'

A suburban soccer club is at the centre of Victoria’s biggest ever criminal sports betting scandal.

10 members of the Victorian premier league side Southern Stars were arrested in raids this morning.

Southern Stars often draw less than sixty supporters to a game.

But this year the Dingley based club has attracted millions of dollars in illegal bets with bookies in countries such as India and Singapore.

Coach Zaya Younan and nine international players were arrested this morning during raids across Melbourne.

It's alleged they're part of a European based match fixing syndicate that won more than two million dollars on Victorian premier league games this year involving Southern Stars.

Deputy Police Commissioner Graham Ashton says "the players aren't unwitting pawns, they've become involved and we'll be alleging that they were operating in full knowledge of what was going on."

It's alleged that those arrested pocketed thousands of dollars each. At least five of the players were brought to the club by the same middle man.

Police say they were tipped off by the Football Federation of Australia last month.

Suspicions were raised by irregular overseas betting and unusual results including a 1-0 win over ladder leaders Northcote City by the last placed Stars.

According to FFA CEO David Gallop, "This is a distressing episode for everyone in Australian sport."

Police say at this stage there is no evidence against other premier league players or officials.

However they do have ongoing investigations into other second tier sporting competitions.

The Stars coach and players arrested are likely to be charged with cheating at gambling and could face up to 10 years jail.

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