NRL In Deep Shit As Organised Crime Cops Investigate Match Fixing Claims

Big day for sport, everyone. Huge, in fact.

The day after the nation celebrated the first extremely tense State of Origin match for 2016, the NRL is being rocked by revelations that the NSW Police are investigating allegations of match fixing.
NSW police’s Organised Crime Unit is reportedly investigating claims that at least two games during the 2015 season were fixed, as it prepares to issue more warning notices to players for associating with known criminals.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the investigation is looking into the Round 16 clash between Manly and Souths, and the Round 24 game between Manly and Parramatta. The Sea Eagles lost both games, 20-8 and 20-16 respectively.
Officials involved in the investigation are concerned that underworld figures have already infiltrated the sport. Outwardly, however, the NRL, its clubs, and players are all asserting that to be a false claim.
Detective Inspector Wayne Walpole, who is leading the investigation (which has been ongoing now for a few months) did not outright confirm the presence of match fixing in the NRL, but stated that players’ continued association with underworld figures does leave that door wide open for the sport’s integrity to be compromised.

“I’m not saying corruption or match fixing has happened, but I’m saying the infiltration is there and that infiltration can lead to the compromise of the sports of the athlete.”

Meanwhile the NRL has issued a statement responding to the media bombshell this morning, confirming that they are aware of the investigation and are cooperating with authorities.

“The NRL said today it was cooperating with authorities in relation to information regarding allegations of match fixing.

An NRL spokesman said the NRL would continue to cooperate with authorities.

‘The NRL is treating this as a serious matter and will take any action necessary to protect the integrity of the game,’ the spokesman said.”

If you cast your minds back to 2013 and the now-infamous ‘Blackest Day in Australian Sport‘ press conference, the Australian Crime Commission report did make specific mention of match fixing and betting market manipulation fears, stating that Australian sport was “highly vulnerable to organised crime infiltration.”

South Sydney, Manly, and Parramatta are all yet to comment on the allegations.

Source: Herald Sun.
Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty.