Defence Lawyer Anthony Brand represented parties which the court heard were involved in match fixing with Australian Soccer through direct and indirect means. Two of the parties were convicted and fined amounts of $2000 and $1200 respectively and another two players and the Southern Stars Coach were ordered to reappear in court at a later date.
Although the Prosecutor Peter Rose, SC, described the matter as fairly serious, he also called on the Magistrate to show leniency given the men’s cooperation with authorities. The court heard that not only did the men not make much money out of the sting, but were ashamed and embarrassed at their involvement and just wanted to return to England.
Defence counsel Anthony Brand said the men were likely to be prevented from playing professional soccer again under the rules of FIFA, the sport’s world-governing body, which in itself was a significant punishment. He said the pair had been approach to take part on the match-fixing scheme however, had no idea of the scale or implications of what they were doing, and were considered expendable in the eyes of the syndicate. Mr Brand said the two men had never received counselling in Australia or England on what to do if approached with requests to manipulate games, despite long involvements with soccer and previous stints as professionals and that both men had made a stupid mistake in taking part.
The Magistrate took into account the men’s guilty pleas, their promise to help investigators and the shame, humiliation and embarrassment their actions had brought them.