Former St Johnstone footballer in match-fixing scam

An ex-St Johnstone player is facing a lifetime ban from football after being convicted of match-fixing in Australia.

Nick McKoy, who was at the Perth Saints between August and December 2008, helped to throw three games whilst playing for Victorian Premier League side Southern Stars last year in exchange for around £3000.

The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of “offering to engage in conduct to corrupt a betting outcome” at Melbourne Magistrates Court.

He is now likely to be kicked out of football altogether by FIFA.

Nine Southern Stars players along with the club’s coach were arrested over the scam last year, which has been linked to an Asian betting syndicate.

The syndicate’s Melbourne ringleader has been handed a jail term, while several players have already been convicted, fined and banned for life.

In mitigation, McKoy’s lawyer, Leonard Hartnett, argued that his client had played “a passive role” in the scam and had been living a “slavery-like” existence in Australia.

But the Londoner’s conviction means FIFA are almost certain to handle his case the same way as those of fellow ex-Southern Stars players, Reiss Noel and Joe Woolley, who have been hit with worldwide, lifetime bans for their part in the scheme.

Midfielder McKoy began his career at Wimbledon in the early 2000s, before a spell at Cardiff City.

He arrived at St Johnstone as the club prepared to mount its charge to the First Division title under Derek McInnes in 2008, but lasted only four months before being shown the door.

He drifted around lower and non-league football in England until his ill-fated move to Australia two years ago.

Tony Higgins, the Vice-President of FIFPro the world footballers’ association has been leading the fight against match fixing in football, and this is the latest success.