FFV sanctions club after match-fixing probe

Football Federation Victoria has charged Southern Stars FC with misconduct and fined the club following their match-fixing investigation.

Football Federation Victoria (FFV) has charged Southern Stars FC with misconduct and slapped the club with a $10,000 fine and an eight-points deduction for its Men-s State League 1 South East team for 2014.

The steps taken followed FFV-s investigation into the club-s connection with match fixing by some of its international players and senior coach in the 2013 season.

Southern Stars cooperated fully with FFV-s investigation.

As a result of that investigation the club was charged with misconduct by materially injuring the reputation and goodwill of football.

Also, there will be mandatory club management/governance courses for all its current committee members (and any new members in 2014), monthly reporting to FFV and the requirement for FFV approval of all current and any proposed committee members in 2014.

Further, the club is to adopt more robust internal procedures in relation to the selection of its coach and potential international players. Full details of the determination will be posted on the FFV website.

The FFV proceedings against the club were separate to the disciplinary process conducted by Football Federation Australia under the National Code of Conduct against each of the individuals charged with match fixing.

FFA has issued life bans on participation in football against two players who have been convicted under Victoria-s new match fixing laws. It has also suspended the remaining players and coach pending the outcome of their criminal proceedings.

At FFA-s request, the bans have been extended by FIFA to have world-wide effect.

FFV-s Chief Executive Officer, Mitchell Murphy, said that the sanctions imposed against the club by FFV are very substantial for Southern Stars which is now, in effect, a community club.

“Due to the complexity of the matter and it being the first instance of match fixing in football in Australia, it was essential that FFV undertook a full investigation,” Murphy said.

“This included consultation with Football Federation Australia (FFA), analysis of Southern Stars- involvement in the matter, and a full review of FFV-s processes around player and coach registrations.

“The investigation identified a serious lack of governance and failure to conduct due diligence by the committee at Southern Stars.

“Although no criminal charges have been laid against any of the committee members at Southern Stars, its poor administration provided an environment and the opportunity for the match fixing to take place.”

While FFV does not wish to see the demise of Southern Stars, or indeed, any club, it views the prevention of match fixing so seriously that if the club does not meet all requirements associated with the sanctions it will be barred from entering any teams in FFV competitions in the 2015 season.

In the report, recommendations were made relating to club and player education about match fixing and good governance that FFV will be adopting to minimise risks associated with match fixing syndicates.

Other recommendations will be discussed with FFA and other regulatory bodies designed to minimise the likelihood of a repetition of the events of last year.

FFV will continue to provide any required assistance to Victoria Police.