May 19 – One of the biggest fixtures in the Swedish football calendar has been postponed due to match-fixing fears.
Top flight rivals AIK and IFK Gothenburg were due to meet in Gothenburg yesterday (Thursday) but the match was called off at the last minute.
The Swedish Football Association claims an AIK player was “offered a considerable sum” if he contributed to losing the game.
SWA General secretary Hakan Sjostrand described it as a “very serious attack against Swedish football,” adding: “We will never let this happen.”
Whilst match-fixing on lower-league fixtures has become an ongoing problem for football and law enforcement authorities, it is rare that fixing high-profile game comes to public attention.
In this case the fixer reportedly made veiled threats asking the player to under-perform in the match, according to the federation. The AIK player was apparently called to a meeting where he was offered a substantial amount of money to actively contribute to his team losing the match.
The Swedish FA was informed about the incident late on Wednesday evening and contacted the two clubs and the police. It was then decided to suspend the match and a preliminary investigation has now been opened.
“This is ultimately not about an individual match. It is a serious attack and a coup attempt against Swedish football,” Sjöstrand said.
“The starting point for all of our matches is that they should be secure and settled on sporting grounds. From the information we have, we can’t guarantee that the match between IFK Gothenburg and AIK is a secure match and that it would be settled on sporting grounds,” he added.
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