Match-fix danger growing in Australia

Spectators show their support during the Big Bash League final between the Perth Scorchers and the Brisbane Heat in Perth last month. The Big Bash league has been identified as a likely target for match-fixing. Photo Getty Images
Spectators show their support during the Big Bash League final between the Perth Scorchers and the Brisbane Heat in Perth last month. The Big Bash league has been identified as a likely target for match-fixing. Photo Getty Images
Australia's sporting stars could be groomed by international match-fixing syndicates looking to infiltrate into local competitions, police fear.

Fairfax Media says organised crime experts have identified A-League football and Big Bash cricket as likely targets of Asian crime cartels.

Victorian Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton told Fairfax that match fixing was imminent in Australia.

"This thing is coming down the highway and we have to be prepared," he said.

He warned sportsmen against associating with underworld figures who could try to blackmail them.

"It can begin with one small incident - cocaine at a party or a prostitute - and then they are on the hook," Mr Ashton said.

"It follows an established pattern: attract, compromise and then infiltrate."

Fairfax said there had been a massive increase in Asian betting on Australian sporting events, with up to $40 million held offshore on one A-League game.

The AFL is briefing all players on the dangers of associating with criminals and the risks of being groomed by illegal betting cartels.