Match-fixing claims in Ligue 1 spark ‘backstage games’ row between Guincamp and Caen

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April 26 – The French league are investigating allegations of match-fixing made by EA Guingamp against their relegation rivals SM Caen before the latter’s 1-0 defeat against Angers earlier this month.

Caen and Guingamp started the weekend of April 16 tied at the bottom of the table, two points away from escaping automatic relegation and moving into a playoff spot.

A few hours before the game, Guingamp president Bertrand Desplat phoned LFP president Didier Quillot to say his club’s players had heard rumours about possible manipulation.

“My players told me things that seemed strange,” Desplat told French sports daily L’Equipe. “I have not denounced anyone. I have not accused anyone. I will answer the questions of the commission because I saw that an investigator had been named.”

The league said that not to investigate potential corruption would “expose the LFP to criminal sanctions.”

But Caen responded with an angry statement of their own, saying they “deplored these backstage games which we would happily do without as we focus on fighting to stay in Ligue 1.”

And Angers branded the accusations brought forward as “unacceptable,” and said they “call into question the integrity of the club and bring discredit to the whole of French football.”

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