Southern Stars Soccer players arrested for match fixing last September. Photo: Mal Fairclough
The threat of organised crime gangs targeting Australian sport will be the subject of a police symposium in Melbourne on Wednesday, as one expert warns of a looming ''tsunami of corruption''.
The event comes less than a year after four players and the coach of the premier league Southern Stars soccer club were accused of being involved in an international match-fixing syndicate.
The local ringleader of the syndicate, Segaran “Gerry” Gsubramaniam, was sentenced in April to three years' jail, with two of those suspended, after he pleaded guilty to engaging in conduct that corrupts or could corrupt a betting outcome.
Gsubramaniam had admitted arranging for players to meet pre-determined scores in six matches from July to September 2013. The results were worth millions in bets placed through Asian markets, authorities estimated.
Victoria Police has rallied sports organisations and integrity bodies to discuss match fixing and corruption at the MCG on Wednesday. Canadian investigative journalist Declan Hill, who has written two books on match-fixing and sports corruption, will be a keynote speaker, ABC Radio reported on Tuesday.
''I'm here to sound a very loud and clear warning bell: There is a tsunami of corruption going to hit Australian sport,'' Hill said.
''Most Asian sports are now a graveyard of hopes, ideals and dreams.
''The match fixing linked to the Asian gambling networks have destroyed most Asian sports.
''The sports fans of Asia, the gambling people, the fixers of Asia are now going to turn their attention to Australia.
''You guys are almost in the same time zone, you're close by and they're going to start coming here and they're going to start fixing games here. So build your defences now.''
Victoria Police is expected to release details about the symposium on Wednesday.
The AFL, which recently bolstered its own Integrity Department and introduced new rules, including banning players from using their mobile phones after entering the locker room, will have representatives attend.
Meanwhile, in Paris on Thursday the International Centre for Sport Security is due to hand down a report on the state of global sport corruption.
The Sorbonne-ICSS Sports Integrity report, the product of two years of study by international experts, promises to reveal the overall global scale of legal and illegal sports betting markets for the first time.
The ICSS will also hand down recommendations to sports, government and law-enforcement agencies for cracking down on betting fraud and match-fixing.