The AFL has confirmed one of its umpires has been arrested after a police investigation into suspicious betting activity.
Victoria Police announced yesterday it had arrested four men in connection with its investigation.
The AFL confirmed the alleged activity related to bets placed on the Brownlow Medal.
The Brownlow Medal is a prestigious annual award for the ‘best and fairest’ player in the AFL men’s competition.
After each game, the three on-field umpires collectively award votes to the three best players using a 3-2-1 vote system (three votes for the best, two for the second best, one for the third best). The votes are sealed in an envelope and kept secure until the medal ceremony.
Betting companies offer betting markets on overall results, but also ‘spot’ bets on which players will receive votes in specific games.
In a statement, the AFL said the allegations related to ‘spot’ betting. It is believed the umpire leaked the 3-2-1 split for a handful of games he umpired.
Victoria Police say one of the four men arrested – understood to be the umpire – was interviewed under suspicion he engaged in “conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome”. The other three men were arrested on suspicion of using this information.
All four have been released and Victoria Police say they expect to lay charges soon.
Some media outlets have named the umpire believed to be involved, but neither the AFL nor Victoria Police have confirmed the umpire’s identity.
The maximum penalty for corrupt conduct in relation to betting in Victoria is 10 years in prison.