Sun, Jul 14, 7:43am by Kevin Pitstock
Football Federation Australia recently suspended six players for betting on the outcome of a pre-season game. Punting on FFA games is considered a breach of the National Code of Conduct.
The players who were suspended were Nick Efstathis, Jack Petrie, Shannon Lancini of Olympic FC, Lukas Doumanlis and Shaun Ford of the Rochedale Rovers. Nick Efstathis and Mario Aparicio are new to Olympic this year, having come over from Rochedale.
The six players bet on the pre-season Silver Boot game between Rochedale and Olympic. All six, including the Rochedale players, bet on Olympic. For their transgression, the players have been suspended for four games. Fines have been handed down, ranging between $200 and $1,000.
Michael McArthur, president of the Rochedale Rovers, said his club was satisfied with the FFA’s investigation and punishment. “We are happy with the way the FFA have conducted their investigations and their findings. We have spoken to the players involved and dealt with them internally.”
McArthur added that the incident should be instructive for the remaining players in the federation. McArthur added, “I think it is a wakeup call to every player from each club.”
Jo Setright, Football Federation Australia’s Head of Legal, Business Affairs and Integrity, said in a press release they do not expect to expand the investigations to other players. This incident was limited to the players involved and match fixing was not an issue.
Three of the players who made wagers played in the game, but they apparently wagered on their side. The FFA said the amount of money wagered in each case was small. All six players have 7 days to ask for an appeal. Given the need to put these actions in the past, it is thought appeals might not be lodged.
The Rovers are based out of the tiny Logan City suburb of Priestdale, which borders the suburb of Rochedale South. The football club has been in existence since 1972 and plays in Underwood Park. Their current coach is Kieran Cooper.
Brisbane Olympic FC is a football club based in Yeronga, a suburb of Brisbane. Olympic FC was founded in 1967 and plays out Goodwin Park. Its chairman is Peter Ioannidis and its head coach is Jim Bellas. Olympic FC plays in the National Premier League Queensland, which is a sub-division of the National Premier Leagues. The NPL was founded earlier this year. It is the second tier of Australian football, comprising all of FFA’s member federations, and underpinning the A-League. Brisbane Olympic should not be confused with Sydney Olympic FC, a club in the New South Wales Premier League.
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