Strict sanctions imposed on Stars

State League One South-East side Southern Stars have been deducted eight points on the competition ladder following a Football Federation Victoria sanction for their match fixing scandal in last season’s Victorian Premier League.

The side, which Morwell Pegasus defeated in their early season State League encounter, was also fined $10,000 and committee members must undertake management and governance courses.

The club is also to adopt more robust internal procedures in relation to the selection of its coach and potential international players.

The FFV proceedings against the club were separate to the disciplinary process conducted by Football Federation Australia under the National Code of Conduct against each of the individuals charged with match fixing.

FFA has issued life bans on participation in football against two players who have been convicted under Victoria’s new match fixing laws.

It has also suspended the remaining players and coach pending the outcome of their criminal proceedings.

At FFA’s request, the bans have been extended by FIFA to have world-wide effect.

FFV chief executive, Mitchell Murphy, said the sanctions imposed against the club by FFV were very substantial for Southern Stars which is now, in effect, a community club.

“The investigation identified a serious lack of governance and failure to conduct due diligence by the committee at Southern Stars,” Murphy said.

“Although no criminal charges have been laid against any of the committee members at Southern Stars, its poor administration provided an environment and the opportunity for the match fixing to take place.

“Southern Stars has suffered a high price in terms of reputational loss given the serious failures of governance that led to Australia’s first football match fixing charges… we will arm the club with the appropriate tools and resources to establish best practice at the core, that is, at club management level so that we can reduce the risk of it ever happening again.”

Full details of the determination will be posted on the FFV website.